OSR6 participants composed of DTI R6 officials headed by OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes, OIC-ARD Felisa Judith Degala, Provincial Directors, IT-BPM industry leaders, representatives from government agencies, academe, local startups and other stakeholders on the first day of the activity held on 18 October, 2022 at Zuri Hotel, Iloilo City

ILOILO CITY- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 6 once again held its Online Slingshot Region 6 (OSR6), now in its third year, on 18-19 October 2022 at the Zuri Hotel in Iloilo City. Anchored on this year’s theme, “Digital and Virtual Countryside,” the OSR6 aims to highlight the region’s digital transformation journey as DTI R6 continues to make significant strides in advancing the government’s support for startups and innovators.

In her welcome remarks, DTI Region 6 OIC-Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes said that in this digital era, there is an urgent need for everyone- be it from the government, academe, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and civil society to journey together and embrace the digital transformation and encourage more businesses to scale up.

DTI Usec. for Regional Operations Group Blesila A. Lantayona and Usec. for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita M. Aldaba virtually expressed their support for the activity through a video message.

Usec. Lantayona reiterated the Department’s eagerness to intensify its efforts in supporting Filipino startups. “Through the various initiatives and activities facilitated by DTI Region 6 with active coordination and strong collaboration from various stakeholders, we foresee a future with an expanding and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the locality. Let us continue working together and build upon our shared goal of a truly digitalized nation”, Usec. Lantayona said.

DTI has partnered with several government agencies and the private sector in developing strategies and interventions that will enable new breed of businesses.

This initiative is a joint effort by DTI, DOST, DICT, and other national government agencies.

DTI Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga, DICT Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, and DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. took the virtual stage and presented the latest developments in the country’s startup ecosystem.

Moreover, Usec. Aldaba emphasized that government support is crucial to help startups address challenges posed by the pandemic through policy and program intervention. “These policy interventions should aim at providing right conditions and incentives for innovative startups and potential entrepreneurs, and boost their potential and capabilities. Let us all work together in addressing challenges affecting startups, reduce barriers to entrepreneurship by providing the right incentives and boost entrepreneurial potential of our startup ecosystem,” Usec. Aldaba remarked.

(from left) DTI R6 OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes, OIC-ARD Felisa Judith Degala; President, Philippine Software Industry Association and CEO, Spring Valley Tech Corp., Mr. Jonathan De Luzuriaga and DTI R6 Trade and Industry Development Specialist Andrea S. Reyes

The 2022 OSR6 also featured renowned speakers in the IT Industry, including Jack Madrid, CEO of IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (ITBAP) who discussed “Enhancing ICT in the Countryside”, and Guillermo M. Luz, Chief Resilience Officer of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), who tackled Smart City Technologies for Sustainable Urban and Rural Development.

OSR6 also brought together brilliant minds with big ideas as the founders of three DTI-assisted startup businesses, Plantsville Health, Creative Definitions, and Maker Academy shared their testimonies.

There were two-panel sessions during the OSR6. The first session focused on case studies on promotion and marketing, development and capability building with speakers coming from the local government units of Bacolod and Iloilo City; Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT); and ICT councils of the provinces of Aklan and Capiz. 

Meanwhile, the second session highlighted the academe’s ICT-industry partnership initiatives, which contributed to the countryside development through capability development with speakers from Iloilo Science and Technology University, Northern Iloilo State University, University of San  Agustin, and Iloilo Federation for IT.

Both sessions were moderated by Mr. Jonathan D. De Luzuriaga, President of the Philippine Software Industry Association and CEO of Spring Valley Tech Corp.

Selected digital champions, who are local chief executives of “Smart Cities” also shared their local government unit’s digital transformation journey. The city mayors of Makati and Santa Rosa Laguna, Hon. Mar-Len Abigail Binay and Hon. Arlene Arcillas, respectively, shared their best practices in transforming their cities into smart cities.

The event capped off with the awarding of winners of the Moonshot Trabaho Negosyo Konsyumer (TNK) Pitching Competition which supports Region 6 startups convert their ideas into breakthrough innovations in the four challenged sectors – Health, Poverty, Education and Environment.

Tricycall and Automation and Intelligent Machines (AIM) from the Province of Negros Occidental bagged the third and second place, respectively, while Iloilo’s Ediscape was hailed as the champion of the 2022 Moonshot TNK Pitching Competition. The winners were given cash and non-cash incentives to include mentoring, capacity building trainings and investment opportunities.

OSR6 participants composed of DTI R6 officials headed by OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes, OIC-ARD Felisa Judith Degala, Provincial Directors, IT-BPM industry leaders, representatives from government agencies, academe, local startups and other stakeholders on the second day of the activity held on 19 October, 2022 at Zuri Hotel, Iloilo City

In closing, DTI OIC-Asst. RD Felisa Judith Degala reaffirmed that Region 6 has a promising future for our cities and municipalities and that growth does come with challenges but we are on the right track towards a more resilient economy through digital transformation.

Date of Release: 21 October 2022