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Digital Transformation Centre to Enhance ICT Industry in the Philippines

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Baguio City Government have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the design and implementation of the National Government Data Centre (NGDC) and the Digital Transformation Centre (DTC), also known as the Philippines Innovation Hub.

The DICT holds various ICT skills and literacy training at Digital Transformation Centres, which are upgraded Tech4ED Centres. DTCs serve as dedicated training areas as well as co-working spaces to support Filipinos develop the skills needed to participate in the digital economy.

This partnership seeks to enhance the ICT upskilling efforts and strengthen the ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem in Baguio City. Our goal had always been to build a better investment environment for the ICT industry, to ensure abundant job opportunities for our workers, and to create more thriving local economies across the country.

– DICT secretary

The establishment of the NGDC, on the other hand, would provide faster and more reliable data exchange among agencies at a lower cost, leading to greater efficiency, as data centres are a critical component of an e-government system.

“I would like to express my thanks to the DICT Secretary and the DICT for choosing us for this initiative. This is the first Digital Transformation Centre in Baguio City, and this would serve as a strong foundation for us as we pursue other digital transformation projects during this pandemic,” Baguio City Mayor said.

In addition to the Secretary’s leadership, the DICT has made significant advances in the Philippine ICT agenda through the increased implementation of its programmes, projects, and initiatives aimed at achieving digital transformation.

According to data, the country recorded a 741.34% increase in its average fixed broadband Internet speed and a 341.40% increase in mobile Internet speed since the start of the President’s administration in July 2016. Through its ICT capacity-building initiatives, the DICT was able to train 183,699 people in 2020 alone. Some of the other initiatives implemented by DICT includes:

Fast-tracked ICT infrastructure roll-out

The DICT prioritised the expanded implementation of its two flagship programmes, the National Broadband Programme (NBP), which aims to build a high-speed broadband network for quality, affordable, and widespread connectivity, and the Free Public Internet Access Programme, which intends to bridge the digital divide by establishing free Internet hotspots in strategic public areas across the country.

Improved PH Internet speed

The Philippines had witnessed a steady upward climb in international Internet speed rankings as a result of collective efforts to accelerate ICT infrastructure build-out, a strong indicator of the country’s progress in comparison to its Asian neighbours and the larger global community.

According to a report, the country’s Internet quality is among the best in the world – the Philippines ranked 20th and has the fastest year-on-year growth in mobile and broadband speed.

Enhanced Ease of Doing Business

The DICT, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and various partner agencies formally launched the Central Business Portal Phase 1 earlier this year, to provide an online, unified business application process. The CBP, which will be implemented in stages, is meant to benefit as a one-stop shop for all business-related transactions once completed.

Protected cyberspace and improved disaster response

In addition, the DICT launched the CybersafePH Campaign to combat the increased rate of cybercrime caused by the pandemic. The campaign provided practical advice on how to stay safe while using online platforms and how to keep private online data secure.

CHIP Framework Implementation Plan

In anticipation of the DICT’s 5th anniversary on June 9, 2021, the Department launched its new CHIP conceptual framework. CHIP (Connect, Harness, Innovate, and Protect) contains the Department’s medium- to long-term plans and initiatives. The DICT is developing new economy services, business models, digital entrepreneurship, and e-government under each component of the framework to assist every sector of society in adapting.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the use of digital technologies in the Philippines is still below its potential, with the country’s digital adoption generally trailing behind many regional neighbours. The digital divide between those with and without the internet leads to unequal access to social services and life-changing economic opportunities.

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