On March 23, 2023 at the Isabela Convention Center in Cauayan City, Isabela, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) successfully opened the first-ever International Smart City Exposition and Networking Engagement 2023 (iSCENE 2023).

            Headed by the First Smart and Sustainable City of the Philippines – Cauayan City, iSCENE was created with the goal of acting as a platform to bring together local chief executives, government leaders, industry leaders, and business players for knowledge-sharing, connection-building, and network-building for the promotion and implementation of innovative solutions that would be crucial in the development of smarter and sustainable communities in the nation. With its promising mission and vision, Cauayan City is set to model and produce at least 80 Local Government Units all over the Philippines to be given the chance to be a Smart City as well.

            The first smart and sustainable community in the nation was founded in Cauayan City by the then-director of DOST Region 2, Engr. Currently serving as the organization’s undersecretary for regional operations is Sancho A. Mabborang. One of the targeted initiatives of DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. is this one. In order to advance science, technology, and innovation (STI) in other Philippine cities and municipalities, the city of Cauayan, the DOST, and Isabela State University have joined forces. “Building Smarter and Sustainable Cities and Communities in the Philippines” served as the subject for the three-day event up until March 25.

            During the occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by DOST, Dept. of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Dept. of Information, Communications and Technology (DICT), and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), for the development of smart and sustainable communities. One of the essential components of a complete and synergistic research-driven framework and roadmap is the MOU. As a result, government agencies, academic institutions, businesses, the civil society, and other organizations working to create sustainable and smart communities will work more effectively together. The initiative is one of the agency’s most successful platforms for encouraging comprehensive and team-based regional and national development, which will further acknowledge community efforts and commitments in their transformation into smart and sustainable communities based on the roadmap and specified milestone indicators.(Kayla Dy/on-the-job trainee)