Cebu, 20, October 2011 – IBM announced the successful completion of an operational framework project towards an integrated development process, particularly in urban planning and transport & traffic management for Cebu. In the last three weeks, six senior IBM leaders from the United States, Sweden, Germany and Italy worked closely with the various Cities and Municipalities of Cebu Province through the newly formed Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB).
The team is part of IBM Executive Service Corps, a variant of the company’s ongoing Corporate Service Corps pro bono community service program. Since its commencement in 2008, the Corporate Service Corps’ mandate and portfolio have been broadened and deepened. It now includes IBM executives who work in teams with city planners, entrepreneurs, business leaders and governmental agencies to develop road maps that identify the best ideas, most scalable solutions and critical next steps in the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cities.
Besides the various Cities and Municipalities, the IBM executives also worked closely, provincial leaders, academia, and the private sector of Metro Cebu to address key issues it is facing in the areas of land use planning & zoning, and transport & traffic management. Increased flash floods and worsening traffic not only causes inconvenience, but hinder economic development and contribute to pollution. Among other issues, the team studied ways to understand existing practices and systems as well as the gaps – from the point of view of institutions, processes, mandate, and Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) infrastructure.
The ESC team presented to the Metro Cebu stakeholders and the Governor of Cebu who is leading the MCDCB a detailed report, including a set of observation and recommended policies, processes, and supporting ICT systems that will enable Metro Cebu to be more competitive in the global marketplace. It leverages existing programs to arrive a realistic roadmap with both short term and long term objectives to address Metro Cebu’s traffic congestion and land use planning methodologies along with an improved governance model that can be used to combat additional core issues like flooding, water and waste management.
“IBM has been working closely with cities and governments around the world to make their transportation and urban planning systems smarter,” said Special Projects Leader, IBM Philippines. “Smarter traffic solutions can help traffic flow smoothly, anticipate congestion and reduce emissions. While smarter urban planning can integrate and enable long-range planning for land use and urbanization to help prevent unwanted flooding and encourage tourism to heritage sites throughout the area, as a couple of examples.”
The MCDCB was set up in May 2011 to replace the previous Metro Cebu Development Council (MCDC). The board is keen to overcome traffic congestion, improve the transportation systems and improve the land use across Metro Cebu, all part of its own roadmap towards a Smarter Cebu.
“We are excited to be working with IBM to look into smarter solutions to better manage our public transportation and urban planning systems. Public-private partnerships like this will help ensure a greener and an integrated Metro Cebu,” said Governor Gwen Garcia, Cebu Province.
This ESC team brings with them a wide range of business experiences from strategic and organizational consulting, business process outsourcing to consumer products brand management in various industries including small and medium businesses, communications service providers and local governments in their home countries.
The ESC team covered significant ground, meeting with public and private sector stakeholders across Metro Cebu to get a better understanding of the challenges they face and the potential for improvements. The executives also had the chance to visit the Badjao Community to see the challenges from another perspective.
“Everyone we met with was open and welcoming with a shared desire to see Cebu prosper” said Martina Pareschi, IBM Global Business Consulting Executive, Italy.
“We are thankful of IBM, especially the ESC, for seeing possibilities and allowing us to reflect on a framework and process. They have somehow affirmed the platform we are embarking on, such as the process of collaboration among local government units (LGUs) and various sectors of the community, highlighting the role of LGUs and contribution of the private sector, and the importance of data and expertise in order for plans to move forward,” said Roberto E. Aboitiz, president of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).
Celebrating its centennial in 2011, IBM is a global leader in information technology and services that help make the world work better. IBM’s objective is to help clients become more innovative, efficient and competitive through business insight and information technology solutions. Though its Smarter Planet strategy, IBM helps companies, governments and cities infuse intelligence into the systems and processes that make the world work — from power grids, buildings and roadways to agriculture and waterways. IBM’s clients span many different kinds of enterprises and represent every major industry and endeavor.
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