Iloilo City sets up digital info kiosk

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BW/ERSSANTIAGUDO

ILOILO CITY — A digital information kiosk has been installed at the Iloilo City Hall, a step towards the local government’s goal of becoming a “smart city.”

“That is for our residents, like for example if they need their birth certificate, they will just have to tap the screens and the kiosk will automatically show the corresponding requirements,” Information Systems Office officer-in-charge Francis T. Cruz said in a phone interview Friday.

The touch-screen kiosk is equipped with data for all local services and transactions such as permit requirements and corresponding payments.

Mr. Cruz said the facility will help make transactions faster and more convenient. “Before we are giving out leaflets (to give information), but now we are ‘high-tech’… we need to shift to digital,” he said.

The facility is now being fine-tuned and Mr. Cruz said they are aiming to have it running within the week. “We have a lot of upcoming offers under the smart city direction. Now, we are looking into a mobile application for tax payment and anything that would make transactions or dealing with the city government easier, faster, less time consuming,” he added.

On Monday, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas announced that the country’s two major telecommunication companies have expressed intent to partner with the local government for the establishment of free Wi-Fi access in selected areas in the city.




Mr. Treñas said the city government is set to sign agreements with Globe Telecoms, Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. for the project.

The free Wi-Fi access will cover the City Hall, Esplanade area, bike lanes along Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue in Mandurriao district, and public plazas in the metro.

“The partnerships are a big help for us in our quest to become a smart city. I am very excited with this as we will be giving the public more access to avail of services and for us to better serve them,” Mr. Treñas said.

The city council has already passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign the agreement with both Globe and Smart, the wireless unit of PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo

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