Eight (8) Local Government Units (LGUs) participated in the Smart and Creative Communities webinar conducted by the Development Academy of the Philippines and Consulus last March 18, 2021. The webinar aimed to inspire LGUs to become smart and creative communities through comprehensive planning and a people-centered and holistic approach to place development. The LGUs that participated in the said webinar were Valencia City, El Salvador City, Malabon City, San Pablo City, Santa Rosa City, Maasin City, Naga City, and Baguio City.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the Academy and Consulus have agreed that the government should continuously innovate and develop its planning and decision-making processes that will help in promoting growth and development among its citizens. To create a positive impact in grassroots communities, it has to start from the local government units that implement policies and provide services to the people.

DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert Caronan Jr. emphasized that LGUs must maximize their resources to attain growth opportunities for their people and community. Given these resources, LGUs must allow their communities to participate actively in initiatives that contribute to their growth and development. With this, the government should not only focus on the latest technological trends but also on people-centered plans and policies.

CEO Lawrence Chong of Consulus Global highlighted the approaches and models that LGUs can apply to their respective communities. He further expounded on the Place Identity, which is a vital concept in building creative cities. He also talked about how culture, shared economic opportunities, and people-centered infrastructure and technology enable high creative growth.

Consulus is a global innovation consultancy with multidisciplinary business and design capabilities. Through their expertise, Consulus can help the government in finding solutions to the emerging challenges of society.

The partnership between the Academy and Consulus was rooted in the initiative to improve the life of Filipinos. One of the goals of this collaboration is to help build a sustainable environment wherein the public can have more opportunities for creativity and competency-building that will help them develop smart and creative communities. To achieve this goal, the government must implement people-centered, data-driven, technology-enabled, future-oriented, and collaborative policies and services to the people.