Maasin City Mayor Naccional Mercado(right) a check from DOST led by its regional director, Ernesto Granada, as the city aims to become a ‘smart city’ with innovations.(PHOTO COURTESY)

TACLOBAN CITY– The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has turned over to the city government of Maasin a fund for the implementation of the agency’s Smart and Sustainable Communities Program (SMART Program).

The turnover of funds, which is expected to jumpstart the Maasin City project, ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Ecosystem Development Toward Smart and Sustainable Maasin City,’ was held on January 3 during the visit of DOST-8 officials to the capital city of Southern Leyte province.

The turnover of funds to Maasin City Mayor Nacional Mercado was headed by DOST-8 Regional Director Ernesto Granada, Ramil Uy, supervising science research specialist, and OIC provincial science and technology director Emmanuel Lagdamen.

“The implementation of the SMART program will focus on the formulation and installation of an appropriate digital infrastructure platform to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and transparency of local government services, Mayor Mercado said.

According to Mercado, the project will surely lay a strong foundation for Maasin’s transformation into a smarter and more sustainable city through a comprehensive review of existing systems, the development of a robust Information Strategic System Planning (ISSP), and road map for the city, and capacity building.

The DOST SMART Program aims to provide a high-quality life, a competitive economy, and sustainability, ushering smart, resilient, and sustainable communities and facilitate the integration of various technologies and innovations for communities to harness the benefits and promote positive change.

“With our unwavering commitment to resilience, innovation, sustainability, and fairness, Maasin City is on an upward path. Let’s be a beacon of progress and a model for holistic development, ensuring a promising and fair future for our constituents,” Mercado said.
All over the country, more than 80 LGUs have signified their interest to adapt the SMART Program of the DOST.

In the region aside from Maasin City, the program is also implemented in the cities of Ormoc, Tacloban, Catbalogan, Calbayog, and Borongan City; Catarman, Northern Samar, and Naval in Biliran province.