SMARTER, SAFER CITIES: DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario is warmly welcomed by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation Inc. Chairperson and Connexionify President Kristin Bangot at Baguio Country Club for Saturday’s Safe and Smart Digital Expo 2020. The housing czar is one of the event’s keynote speakers. (DHSUD)

BAGUIO CITY – Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario has highlighted the need to establish “smart cities” during a digital exposition held in Baguio City over the weekend.

In his keynote message at the “Safe and Smart Digital Expo 2020,” the housing czar stressed that developing smart cities nationwide could not only promote national security but also push for economic development as well.

Secretary Del Rosario cited what happened to Marawi City following the 2017 siege, stressing that such destruction and displacement of people could have been avoided had Marawi was equipped with the “safe and smart city” concept.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, who is also Task Force Bangon Marawi chairperson, Daesh-inspired Maute terrorist group could have not established their roots in Marawi if proper technology was there.

He likewise noted that having a “safe and smart city” system could spur vibrant economic activities. 

“That is the significance of having a smart city in as far as safety and business environment is concerned.  So, I believe in investing in having a smart city. It encompasses so many advantages and it covers all sectors,” Secretary Del Rosario stressed.

“And I can say, it is a must for every city in our country to have an established smart city system so that it can be reflective of the cities’ state in terms of security and interconnectivity,” the housing czar added.

He reiterated that DHSUD upholds two housing principles – shelter is a right of every Filipino and home ownership is an option. He said that the department is more than willing to ensure and assist Filipinos, especially the underprivileged, in fulfilling their dream of having a house they can call their own.

Secretary Del Rosario, who was warmly welcomed by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, likewise disclosed that DHSUD is coordinating with the local government unit with regard to a housing project in the city. He stated that the department is bent on cementing closer coordination with the Baguio City administration in carrying out at least two or three projects until 2022 aimed at benefiting local citizens.

“We would like all upcoming settlements and housing projects in Baguio to be smart communities. Not only housing communities but smart communities, and being a smart city, we can benefit all the people, especially the poorest of the poor in the latest technology by providing them free wifi in their respective settlements,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“With that in mind, I would like to finally say this, that in the conduct of our business, in the pursuit of our profession, and in the observance of our social and personal life, being safe and smart, is the way of the future,” he added. (30)