San Juan City wins top award for efforts at improving education amid the pandemic

Published December 14, 2020, 12:36 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

San Juan City won the top prize in the recently concluded Digital Governance Awards 2020 for its education program amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mayor Francis Zamora said San Juan won first place in the eGOV Customer Empowerment (G2C) Category for Cities with its entry, “Education in the time of COVID-19.”

The city’s entry highlighted San Juan’s efforts in providing learning devices such as computer tablets and laptops, as well as fast and reliable internet connection to all public school students in the city.

Manila and Cauayan City, Isabela won second and third place, respectively.

After being elected into office last year, Zamora vowed to transform San Juan into a “Smart City” by implementing various programs in developing the city’s information and communications technology (ICT) capabilities.

“Just a few months after I was sworn in, 338 WiFi access points were installed. Six months into office, before the pandemic hit, all of our 375 public school teachers received their laptops with a few more to spare for new hires, giving us a 1 is to 1 ratio between laptops and public school teachers,” the mayor said.

“We are forging ahead with our Smart City initiative with connectivity being one of our top priorities in this pandemic to avoid having our teachers and students step out of their houses and put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19,” he added.

The Digital Governance Awards recognizes and showcases the best practices of local government units (LGUs) by integrating ICT in enhancing their local governance processes to deliver basic services and to inspire other LGUs to replicate.

The award is spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), in partnership with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

“This is a very precious Christmas gift, being recognized for our efforts in providing good governance in San Juan City. This award will surely fuel our drive to provide even better services to the San Juaneños in the coming months and years,” Zamora said.