MVP Group spearheads development of smart city program
MVP Group spearheads development of smart city program
(The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over the past few months, global talk about developing smart cities has reached fever pitch. Smart cities are widely and generally defined as cities that successfully leverage technology to spur economic development and improve quality of life in a sustainable and efficient manner. Understandably, the MVP Group of Companies, which has holdings in information technology, energy, infrastructure, and water, among other industries, has taken on a leadership role in helping create smart cities in the Philippines.

The First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA) – the corporate university of the MVP Group of Companies – and the PLDT-Smart Foundation are spearheading a program that seeks to engage decision makers on the local government level, and help them craft a path towards a smarter Philippines.

Last February, the group sent delegates to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore, to learn about the various disciplines involved in developing smart cities, and eventually crafting a similar program here.

“We are very excited to develop this program and see how we can help local governance in the country,” said Ma. Esther Santos, president of the PLDT-Smart Foundation. “We learned a lot about creating smarter cities when we were in Singapore, and we’ve hit the ground running to see how we can help localize and operationalize this knowledge.”

While the program components are still in development, Santos pointed out that technology and its many applications have the potential to transform communities.

“New technology is not an end in itself,” said Santos. “We would like to help our local government units use the power of data, connectivity and technology to better serve our people and build a greater sense of community.”

Roy Agustin Evalle, general manager and executive director of FPLA, has likewise expressed his eagerness to develop a smart cities program.

“The entire concept of the smart city gives us a glimpse of what the future could look like,” says Evalle. “We are lucky to be led by a chairman who doesn’t simply want us to move into the future, but instead wants us to pave the path forward. This program has great potential, especially given the Filipino’s natural affinity with all things tech.”

Evalle, however, emphasizes that this project’s scale is far larger than one might expect.

“This smart city program might initially seem like a small undertaking,” says Evalle. “But if we do it right, it has the potential to improve the lives of so many of our countrymen in cities across the archipelago. At the end of the day, that’s the goal. It’s not about the MVP Group, and it’s not about the people in local government; it’s about doing what’s best for our people. And that’s precisely what we will do: our best.”

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