by Cecille Suerte Felipe – The Philippine Star, 19 Dec 2021
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Full digitalization for government transactions will prevent corruption and cybersecurity-related issues, the tandem of Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo Lacson and running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, maintained.
Lacson and Sotto supported the futuristic programs implemented by their ally, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in the country’s summer capital.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem met with Magalong on Friday after attending a meeting with members and officials of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) at the Baguio Convention Center, where the mayor’s “smart city” project was also discussed.
Lacson said the purpose of Magalong’s projects is connected to his desire to have full digitalization for government transactions that will help prevent government corruption, as well as cybersecurity-related issues.
“I think Mayor Magalong has a program that will revolutionize our digital efficiency and I hope it happens very soon, sooner than later, because it’s all connected,” Lacson told the youth of Baguio City.
He said this is related to the question of why industries seem to be slow to respond to complaints from ordinary people, as victims of online bank account hacking are now experiencing, even though the Philippines is considered a premier call center hub destination.
“If we fail to digitize, then there will be many bureaucratic layers as well as human interventions. The inefficiency will really accumulate. But let’s try to digitize all our government processes,” Lacson explained.
“We are the only ones who are lacking in digital technology. In this day and age of modern technology, we must keep up. But without government support, how can we?” Lacson asked.
Magalong recently launched a Smart City Command Center for the city of Baguio where their world-class facilities are located towards the adjustment, not only of the peace and order situation using technology, but the development of the entire city.
“Many people are saying that the smart city is like a CCTV system for security and for public safety. That is a safe city system. But for us, sir, in the City of Baguio, we leveled up several notches higher. It’s a very, very comprehensive type of system,” Magalong told Lacson during their meeting.
“It has several components: smart economy, smart environment, smart agriculture, smart public safety, smart lighting, smart electricity, smart security and eventually, sir, our target is to create smart Baguio people,” the mayor added.
Lacson and Sotto praised the good management of Magalong, who is a retired police general. For Lacson, what the mayor does is a perfect example of good governance.
“He is the perfect example of good governance, there’s no other option. But good governance can only be made possible by good leadership and I’d like to emphasize without leadership by good example, we will go nowhere as a nation,” Lacson said.