19 May 2021 – A Baguio Smart City Council should be formed at the soonest possible time  that will serve as the Summer Capital’s overall policy-making and implementing body for its Smart City initiatives aimed at building and enabling a leading digital city.

Thus, appealed Engr. Felipe Puzon, City Mayor’s Office chief of staff and management information technology division supervisor, during the regular management committee meeting of local officials led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, May 18, at Baguio Convention Center.

A Smart City System  uses technology to provide more efficient and effective services  to the public, promote good governance and sustainability and help solve problems like transportation and accessibility, public order and safety, health and environment, and more.

Puzon said the Council will be composed of representatives  from various sectors of society tasked to create an action plan, resource guide, and other activities such as the development of a work force to achieve its aims.

The group is also expected to ensure compliance with data privacy and other related laws, regulations and policies; oversee the implementation of Smart City System programs and projects; address issues and challenges relating to the System; promote and ensure coordination and harmony among stakeholders.

“The Council will ascertain that the attainment of Baguio Smart City goals and objectives are in line with the city’s mission to create a sustainable and enabling environment that will promote economic stability and ensure the general well-being of our citizenry,” Puzon said.

After the meeting, he led local journalists on a tour of the Smart City Command Center currently located at the Baguio Convention Center basement that is now on its fifth month of construction.

Puzon disclosed that the P500 million facility will be completed in three phases with its first phase targeted to be finished by August this year.

Mayor Magalong said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has contributed P200 million as initial funding for the Smart City Project. – Gaby B. Keith