Experts say gov’t must adopt smart solutions vs pandemic
National and local governments should adopt smart solutions and invest in emerging technologies to deal with risks such as climate change, natural hazards, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aubrey Tabuga, Sonny Domingo, Charlotte Justine Sicat, and Valerie Gilbert Ulep, researchers at state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies, emphasized this in their discussion paper titled, “Innovating governance: Building resilience against Covid-19 pandemic and other risks.”
The study noted that the rising population and rapid urbanization demand the adoption of more “process, product, organizational, and communication innovations” and smart reforms to address environmental concerns, socioeconomic problems, and other related issues.
For local governments, the provision of critical services to the public, “particularly in the sectors of public health, agriculture, and social welfare”, required smart solutions that “can provide digital avenues for health consultation, agricultural extension and research, and social protection and monitoring.”
In Metro Manila, the limited availability of land requires “product innovations through reclamation projects and vertical property developments.”
Smart innovations are also needed to mitigate the adverse effects of these reclamation projects, which may pose a more significant threat to the environment and livelihood of people living in the coastal areas of Mega Manila, according to the study.
While there has been progress in the country’s digital governance indices in recent years, particularly on e-participation, e-government, online service, and e-infrastructure, the study identified human capital index as an area for improvement.
Despite this weakness, some local governments have adopted e-governance platforms to improve public safety and service delivery.
The establishment of the Public Safety and Security Command Centre (PSSCC) in Davao City is a good example of applying ICT infrastructure and innovation in local governance. The PSSCC uses an “array of technological tools, including a city-wide CCTV surveillance system and real-time data mapped out in GIS” to maintain peace and order and respond to emergencies and calamities quickly.
Most cities in Metro Manila also employ smart ICT innovations through their respective command centers. Real-time closed-circuit television monitoring is also present in most areas of the city.
At the national level, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council operates an Intelligent Operations Center that connects its 17 regional offices for up-to-date video, audio, and data communications feed on the ground. – Press release