Mayor Zamora’s ‘smart city’ dream for San Juan gets a boost with Honasan as DICT Chief

Published July 2, 2019, 11:11 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Jhon Aldrin Casinas

With former Senator Gregorio Honasan officially taking over the helm of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the plan of Mayor Francis Zamora of making San Juan a “smart city” may soon come true.

San Juan City mayor-elect Francis Zamora (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)
San Juan City mayor-elect Francis Zamora (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

Honasan, who was appointed by President Duterte last November, took oath as the new DICT chief on Monday, replacing Eliseo Rio, its former officer-in-charge.

The former senator and an ally of Zamora was the honorary guest of the then-mayoral candidate during his party’s proclamation rally last March 29.

The new DICT chief, Zamora shared, made a commitment to make San Juan the pilot city in its goal of building smart cities in the country.

Making San Juan a “smart city” by installing free internet access to all of its 21 barangays was one of the proposed plans Zamora has laid out during his campaign.

The project, he said, will be integrated with the programs of the DICT, which was tasked to lead the implementation of the Free Internet Access Program Law.

The measure, signed by President Duterte on August 2017, requires government offices, schools, and public terminals, among others to have free internet access available for the public to use.

“Because San Juan is [a] small [city], it’s very doable [and] feasible,” Zamora told the Manila Bulletin in an interview on Tuesday.

“So I’m very confident and optimistic that we will be able to implement our plans and programs for San Juan in terms of being a ‘smart city,’” he said.

This program, however, will not solely rely from the good graces of the DICT. Zamora said the city government will also have its own funding for the implementation of the program.

“We will of course count on the support of the DICT [but] at the same time we will [also] have our own local funding for this,” Zamora said.