Shaping Sustainable Future: A Businessworld x The Freeman Forum

The recent BusinessWorld x The Freeman Forum on “A Blueprint for Philippine Smart Cities” was an enlightening and dynamic event that brought together experts, policymakers, and industry leaders to discuss building sustainable and green communities in smart cities.

On November 10, 2023, I had the privilege of being a panelist on the topic “Home in the Smart City: Building Sustainable and Green Communities,” which talked about the critical aspects of creating sustainable and green communities. 

The conversation focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with harnessing sustainable cities and communities, particularly in Cebu. Cebu City, along with Manila and Davao City, is among the 26 Pilot Cities in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network. One of the key points that emerged from the discussion was the importance of understanding the concept of a smart city creating efficient and sustainable societies. 

A smart city is not just about using technology but is also about fostering sustainable development and improving the quality of life for its residents. The notion of a smart city goes beyond just implementing technological advancement; it also focuses on sustainability and livability. (Vasileva et al., 2018)

Moreover, the forum underscored the importance of public-private partnerships in realizing the vision of smart cities. Collaboration between government entities, businesses, and communities is necessary for the successful implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for urban dwellers. These collective efforts can result in more effective and efficient solutions that meet the diversified needs of a growing population.

As a representative of Wilcon Depot, sharing insights on how the construction and home improvement industry can contribute to the development of smart cities. During our discussion, we emphasized integrating eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials in construction projects. We also highlighted our industry’s role in promoting sustainability at the foundational level.

News5 Anchor Jester Delos Santos, Philstar Media Group EVP Lucien C. Dy Tioco, Wilcon Depot Senior Executive VP-COO Rosemarie B. Ong, Palafox Architecture Group Inc. Director and Project Manager, Cebu office Stephen Rhey Ralota, AAC Lightweight Block Corp. General Manager Jennifer H. Latoga and Philstar Media Group Pres. And CEO Miguel G. Belmonte

This forum hosted by Businessworld and Freeman truly provides a valuable opportunity for debate and collaboration among stakeholders invested in the future of Philippine smart cities. I am truly honored to present my ideas and knowledge on the subject. The presentations and viewpoints provided highlighted the significance of working together to establish sustainable communities that leverage the power of technology, innovation, and strategic collaborations. 

This Businessworld X Freeman event is invaluable not only for personal growth but also for the benefit of my dedicated Wilcon team. Sharing these new ideas and perspectives with my team is important to ensuring that Wilcon Depot remains at the forefront of construction industry innovation, contributing to the realization of smart and sustainable communities across the Philippines. I am dedicated to fostering a culture of continuous learning within our organization, and events like these serve as an opportunity for positive change and progress.

I am optimistic that the blueprint outlined during the forum will serve as a guide for the transformative journey toward smarter, more resilient, and sustainable urban spaces in the Philippines.     

And with Wilcon Depot’s mission, ‘To help people build, improve, and refine their homes for a sustainable and comfortable life,’ we will support and actively contribute to the development of smart cities, aligning our efforts with the broader goal of creating homes and communities that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally responsible.