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Credit: The Department of Information and Communications Technology

Credit: The Department of Information and Communications Technology

Philippines promotes community development through eCentre optimisation and technology modernisation

As announced by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the recently concluded 13th Knowledge Exchange Conference (KEC) emphasised that eCentre optimisation and modernisation of technologies will contribute to improve community development.

The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that plans, develops, and promotes the national ICT development agenda.

The need to optimise eCentre resources and modern technologies for improving communities was highlighted during the KEC13 held at the Sison Auditorium, Capitol Complex, Lingayen, Pangasinan last 17 to 18 April 2018.

DICT Undersecretary for Management and Operations and Countryside Development Mr Monchito B. Ibrahim encouraged the stakeholders of Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs, and Economic Development (Tech4ED) to keep revolutionising the program addressing digital divide in the face of digital disruption.

During his speech, Mr Ibrahim stressed, “As long as we are observing poverty, the work (of DICT and Tech4Ed) is not yet over.”

As of March 2018, 2,161 eCentres were established according to Tess Camba, the Mindanao Cluster 1 Director and Tech4Ed Project Manager. The Tech4Ed platform also added eHealth and Gender and Development segments.

The topics discussed were - various Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM), responsible use of social media, online investments, and shared facilities- in line with the theme of this year’s conference, “Optimizing eCentre Resources and Modern ICT Affordances for Community Development.”

Progress on DICT’s main projects like Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Electronic Business Permit and Licencing System (e-BPLS), Tech4ED Project and Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) were also shared during the event.

PKI is a set of hardware, software, policies, personnel and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates. It allows users of public networks like the Internet to privately exchange data securely.

E-PBLS is a system that offers end-users with innovative features to streamline the business permit and licencing process, allowing for a swift and more accurate transaction.

RIS advances digital literacy and ICT skills training for Filipino talents and freelancers by providing digital access and informal skills training to the rural communities. It also aims to increase access to digital markets and business process outsourcing (BPO) in far-flung areas with high unemployment rate.

The two-day conference also allowed for technical learning sessions on data analytics and data privacy. They also conducted eCentre Resources Optimisation during the event.

DICT OIC Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. extended his support for the conference through a video message. He said, “You can be assured that DICT will be all out in supporting all endeavours that would hasten the progress of ICT in our country.”

An annual gathering of ICT for Development and Public Internet Access advocates including Local Chief Executives, Knowledge Managers/Workers and other eCentre stakeholders in the Philippines, the Knowledge Exchange Conference (KEC) allows for networking and sharing of best practices on eCentres. Moreover, it also showcases ICT trends, updates and products.

KEC13 was organised by the Philippine Community eCentre Network, Inc. (PhilCeCNet) in collaboration with the DICT and the Province of Pangasinan.

PhilCeCNet is a non-government organisation and community of practise composed of the major eCentre stakeholders working together to ensure responsive, efficient, valuable and sustainable eCentres. It is the multi-sectoral partner of the DICT in the implementation of the Philippine Community eCentre Program.

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