Beng urges ICT enthusiasts to be Zambo’s peace envoys PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 November 2013 10:55

Notwithstanding the 23-day siege last September, Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday challenged the more than 500 information and communications technology (ICT) enthusiasts, mostly students and teachers from the different higher education institutions here, to be Zamboanga City’s ambassadors of peace.

“I would like to encourage you to be ambassadors of peace for the city. We have gone through devastation and we would like to ask you, solicit your support to please help in rebuilding Zamboanga City. Let us build back a better Zamboanga,” Mayor Climaco stressed in her message during the Zamboanga ICT Conference 2013 held at Centro Latino of Paseo del Mar yesterday afternoon.

While ICT defines a smarter and safer city that Zamboanga dreams of, Climaco believes that nothing can replace the capability of human brains.

“Even if we have the technology, I still believe that the greatest capital the city has is the human brain (human resources). Nothing can replace the human brain in accessing all of what technology has,” she said.

“That is why; you are the investments of our city. Wherever you go, whatever you want, the city will be investing for you and I hope that whatever skills you learn from this conference, you will be able to put it in good use,” the lady chief executive told the city’s future ICT engineers.

She pointed out that every city whether big or small has its own set of challenges. “We need to expand, we need to empower and we need efficiency. But everyone must do his/her part,” she said, adding that Zamboanga City has been looking for ways to govern smartly using the present and existing technologies.

She told the ICT conference attendees that the city government under her administration envisions to deliver free, fast and efficient public service; to promote participatory governance using the social media and; to shift from just responding to critical events to anticipating and preventing them.

If financial resources would warrant, Climaco said she hopes to see Zamboanga with enhanced emergency response center that will be patterned after the United States’ 911 to respond to emergency calls.

She also hopes to see Zamboanga barring any limitations to establish a complaints center (eGovernance Center) that will enable citizens to communicate with the city government using the smart messaging system, email, twitter or facebook.

“This will create an impression to the public of ‘real’ people empowerment as their one peso text message will reach the government anytime, from anywhere,” she said.

Another dream of the city, Climaco said, is to build a public safety and security command center that will integrate all services and data from the different offices such as those from 911 (if realized), police blotter and other agencies to better manage crime, terrorism, traffic, emergency response and public safety.

“Together we can make our dreams a reality,” Mayor Climaco told the ICT students and faculty from the different participating institutions of higher learning in the city.

The conference was organized by the Zamboanga ICT Council headed by its president Felix Louell Saavedra in cooperation with Elance, TechTalks.ph, Job and Esther Technologies, and the participating higher education institutions through the Commission on Higher Education. — Vic Larato