Francis Gentoral observed that that local government units in Region VI found it difficult to comply with national government-mandated reporting requirements. After engaging with local governments and regional offices, he noted that a recurring challenge was the difficulty in finding local socio-economic data. This is partly because they depend on old data infrastructure and are working in data silos. With guidance form his mentor, Rene Sanapo, Francis determined that having an online repository of up-to-date socio-economic data may address the problem.
As a member of the Western Visayas Regional Development Council Economic Development Committee (EDC), Francis advocated a Committee Resolution for the creation of an online data repository. According to his September 2021 column in the Business World, he was “guided by the Development Entrepreneurship model advocated by the Asia Foundation” throughout this process.
The online dashboard for this repository is now being developed by the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISTU) and is scheduled to be completed by end of 2022. The DOST Region VI has committed to fund its maintenance costs. More importantly, the private sector has shown interest in utilizing this platform.
Franciso “Francis” Gentoral is the Executive Director of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. He is also the Chair of the Regional Development Council VI’s Economic Development Committee and is a professional lecturer for the University of San Agustin’s MBA and MPA programs. Francis has experience working with government, non-government organizations, private sector associations, and other organizations on local economic development and governance, program design, and impact evaluation.