Bacolod retains ICT ‘excellence’ status, gets aid for education

The City of Bacolod has gotten a boost for its priority programs, particularly in the sectors of information and communications technology (ICT) and education.


In the virtual launch of Digital Cities 2025, Bacolod was among the six cities recognized as “Centers of Excellence” for information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).


Mayor Evelio Leonardia said on Thursday the recognition revalidates the city’s status as one of the premier investment destinations in the country.


“In this highly competitive field, it takes a strong combination of available quality human resources and infrastructure to stay on top and we still made it,” Leonardia said.


Bacolod first achieved the distinction in 2013, along with Metro Manila and Metro Clark.


In the latest list released by the DICT on Tuesday, Bacolod joined Iloilo City, Davao City, Metro Cebu, Metro Manila, and Metro Clark.


Rey Untal, president and chief executive officer of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), said they recognized locations that have been crucial to the continued and growing relevance of the Philippines as a global investment destination.


As of September 2019, Bacolod’s information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector has employed at least 33,000 workers with about 30 locators, including small-scale players, figures of the Bacolod – Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) showed.


The goal is to achieve 60,000 full-time jobs in Negros Occidental and Bacolod by 2022, which was set in 2016 in line with the Philippine ICT Roadmap.


Meanwhile, Bacolod has been selected as one of the six pilot sites for the implementation of the Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+ Project) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Education (DepEd).


“This is a step forward for the quality of education in Bacolod. This USAID-DepEd program will surely help us keep our lead in education advancement,” Leonardia said.


Leonardia is the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), which will work in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF) through the funding support of USAID in the ABC+project, dubbed as “Cities’ System Capacity Development Project (Ci-Cap) in Bicol and Western Visayas Region”.


According to the USAID, the ABC+ will support DepEd by identifying innovative and sustainable ideas to address the continuing challenges in literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional learning (SEL), focusing on systems strengthening.


Both the USAID and DepEd designed the ABC+ Project and tapped RTI International as its lead implementing body to improve children’s basic life skills in the primary levels – from Kinder to Grade 3.


The project seeks to build and strengthen the cities’ system capacity and commitment to plan, mobilize, and manage resources in support of improved learning outcomes of children at the primary level. It also aspires to enhance cities’ capacity to collaborate with DepEd to harmonize their education programs.


Source: Philippines News Agency

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