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Photo: Acepike Krenz Guiamelon / BICTO


05 September 2023 | Cotabato City People’s Palace Lobby

The primary focus of the Administrasyong Para sa Lahat is addressing poverty and stimulating economic growth within our community. The lack of education, resources, and opportunities has hindered progress for many individuals and their families. To tackle this issue, the administration envisions harnessing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to reshape our local economy. By uniting the stakeholders, expertise, resources, and networks within Cotabato City, we can develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, drive economic growth, and improve overall living conditions. Additionally, the administration is proposing the establishment of the COTABATO CITY ICT COUNCIL, which will serve as a governing body or advisory group responsible for matters related to ICT development, implementation, and regulation.

One of the top priorities of the City Government of Cotabato, under the leadership of Hon. Mayor Mohammad “Bruce” Dela Cruz Matabalao, is to transform the city into a digital city. In pursuit of this goal, the ICT Stakeholders’ Meeting was convened on September 5, 2023, at the People’s Palace Lobby.

Engr. Alla-Von Balabagan, Provincial Officer of DICT Maguindanao, emphasized that this meeting marks the initial step in creating the digital roadmap for Cotabato City, with the aim of providing a better future for its residents and generating job and employment opportunities. Optimizing this digital roadmap will address major issues and challenges that impact daily operations within the city, streamlining processes through online transactions and reducing traditional bureaucratic hurdles.

In his opening message, Engr. Balabagan stressed the importance of ensuring that ICT solutions are both inclusive and secure for the benefit of everyone.

The meeting also benefitted from the expertise of Engr. Hannah Grace Parcon, IIDB Focal of DICT XII & BARMM Mainland, who facilitated the identification of data and information requirements as guided by the scorecard for Cotabato City’s application to become a Digital City.

Jonathan M. Mantikayan, PhD.IT, Executive Director of BICTO, shared a motivational message, stating, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” He emphasized that by participating in this meeting, they are showing their support for the initiatives of the city’s leaders and the region as a whole. Mayor Bruce’s vision and leadership, aligned with Administrasyong Para Sa Lahat, aim to bring the same benefits to Cotabateňos that other cities are currently enjoying.

The meeting witnessed the participation of various ministries, offices, agencies, investors, telecommunications service providers, non-governmental organizations, private sector representatives, and academic institutions. It was agreed that by the end of the month, a workshop would be held to finalize and present the data and information collected. (Abdulbasir B. Endong/BICTO)



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