BORONGAN City has drafted a roadmap towards becoming a smart city, with a focus on adopting technology and programs that will improve healthcare, education, and agriculture, among other sectors.
“The implementation of this project aims to promote good governance and transparency,” Borongan Mayor Jose Ivan C. Agda said in a statement following last week’s three-day assessment and roadmap formulation activity.
“Technology adaptation will make public service more efficient and will make civil servants more accountable to the people they serve,” he said.
The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) together with the Isabela State University-Cauayan Campus and the local government of Cauayan City are assisting Borongan in its smart city goal.
Cauayan City was recognized by the DoST in 2015 as the first smart city in the country.
The project stems from the first iSCENE2023 (International Smart City Exposition and Networking Engagement) held in March to encourage localities to implement and adopt various smart and sustainable initiatives.
Mr. Agda emphasized the importance of agriculture in Borongan and using the smart city initiative to build on ongoing programs for improving the sector.
He cited the Dukwag Agriculture Mapping Project, which aims to create a comprehensive database of the city’s agricultural resources, including land use and soil analysis, to help farmers make more informed decisions for better production.
A stakeholders meeting to discuss the smart city program and next steps will be held on the second week of June, in time for the city’s charter day celebration.
“The meeting will gather key stakeholders and partners to present and discuss the next steps of the project, review the roadmap, and identify potential areas for collaboration,” the city government said.
Philippine Airlines launched flights in December to Borongan City, capital of Eastern Samar province.
The twice weekly flights are between Cebu and Borongan and scheduled to allow for connecting flights between Cebu and Manila.
Eastern Samar was cited by the Philippine Statistics Authority in an Oct. last year as having one of the most significant improvements in poverty incidence with the 2021 level dropping to 29.4% from 40.9% in 2018.
The province, however, still had the highest poverty incidence among the six provinces in the Eastern Visayas Region.
Eastern Samar Governor Ben P. Evardone said in August that the next three years of his administration is geared towards bringing in investments and other support from the private sector as public funds are tight in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. — Marifi S. Jara