Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo has declared Cauayan in Isabela, Cagayan Valley as the first Smarter City in the region and the first among the 144 cities in the country.
He made the pronouncement during the recent Region 2 leg of the “Science Nation: Agham na Ramdam” nationwide roadshow of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Cauayan City is also the first local government unit in the region to unite all its barangays in implementing “Juan Time”—a DOST campaign for the synchronization of all watches, clocks, and time setting devices in the country, including office bundy clocks, to abide with the Philippine standard time. “Juan Time” also aims to promote a culture of punctuality among Filipinos.
Under the DOST Smarter Philippines Program, a smarter city means a locality has put in place enough ICT (information communication technology) infrastructure that are “instrumented” through the merging of data, “interconnected” through networks, and “intelligent” through data trends.
Among Cauayan City’s ICT-based technologies are the Electronic Government Application System or eGAPS, a mobile app for iOS or android-based phones containing tourist information, and the Cauayan City Patrol, the Cauayan City Identification System which serves as a valid government ID, a systematic and computerized police clearance process, a mobile library with laptops and Internet connection among others, and an interactive government website (http://cityofcauayan.gov.ph/) featuring e-services.
According to Montejo, an ICT-based, interactive system can help empower people as it aims to enhance comfort, productivity, profitability and innovation. Achieving these goals result in synchronized action, which means faster, real-time response to present situations such as monitoring of abnormal situations, and maintaining peace and order, among others. In this scenario, a city is considered “smarter.”
The Smarter City of Cauayan focuses on eight key areas: Smarter Farming; Smarter Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs; Smarter Industries; Smarter Jobs; Smarter Government; Smarter Climate Change Adaptation; Smarter Scientists and Engineers; and Smarter Healthcare.
Meanwhile, DOST also awarded Cauayan with a trophy and a certificate of appreciation for being the first local government in Region 2 to adopt the “Juan Time” campaign and for being the first city in the Philippines to install all its 65 barangays with precision timepieces synchronized with the Philippine Standard Time as prescribed under Republic Act No. 10535.
“We also use ‘Juan Time’ as a means of information dissemination,” said Raena Consorcia Santos, information analyst of Cauayan City. This means placed below the clock in all Cauayan barangay halls are DOST weather updates and other important information that people can read as they look to the clock for time.