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Digital Job Programme Launched in the Philippines

Negros Oriental residents will benefit in the future from a joint job generation initiative dubbed “digitaljobsPH,” according to key officials from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). According to sources, this is the first time in the country that the DICT and CDA have collaborated with a local cooperative for a digital jobs programme that aims to capacitate and empower people to be “tech-savvy,” especially in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Assistant Secretary of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) noted that this is another milestone for PHCCI, which has always collaborated with CDA. He went on to say that by adopting the digitaljobsPH venture, the project will soon become a model for other cooperatives. He pointed out that most businesses are now using digital technologies, particularly during the pandemic.

Members of the cooperative will soon be equipped and trained for greater challenges, placing them “on the map as the first recipients of this digitaljobsPH project,” according to him. It will provide them with new opportunities, he noted. The CDA official stated that in the future, the initiative would be cascaded to other cooperatives, allowing additional coop members to benefit from the employment training.

The collaboration is timely, as per DICT’s regional director, to provide online opportunities to our coop members who have been affected by the pandemic, especially as the country begins to reopen its economy. “The digitaljobsPH programme is not only a contributor to the economy but the society as well,” he said, hoping that beneficiaries will share what they have learned with others to help uplift them. He expressed confidence in the project’s success and said it would be replicated in other parts of the country.

Additionally, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) continues to provide free training to help Filipino talent and freelancers gain access to digital opportunities and high-paying online jobs. “The freelance industry or gig economy, especially among the younger population, play a key role in the country’s economic revitalisation efforts,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said. “For this reason, we need initiatives to support freelancers in their hunt for work and to keep their skills relevant,” he added.

One of the Department’s programmes, digitaljobsPH, provides technical training to help Filipinos, particularly those in rural areas, improve their digital capabilities. The goal of the initiative is to expand ICT-enabled livelihood options so that more people may participate in the digital economy. The DICT’s digitaljobsPH initiative, Virtualahan, a Davao-based social enterprise, and the Philippines ICT company are also collaborating on capacity-building programmes to help displaced Filipino workers.

Furthermore, the DICT supports the passage of House Bill 8817, the Freelance Workers Protection Act, which includes provisions to protect freelancers such as the requirement of written contracts when obtaining their services, as well as hazard compensation and night shift differential. These regulations aim to make it easier and more accessible to enforce independent workers’ rights. Any infringement of the bill’s requirements can be reported to the Department of Labour and Employment through the Undersecretary for Workers with Special Concerns.

OpenGov Asia reported that as of last year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) had conducted a DigitalJobsPH technical training in this city and Lanao del Sur. According to the press release, offering various tracks of free online technical training, last year’s DigitalJobsPh is DICT’s response to the commitment of the government in providing online opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. DICT-Mindanao Cluster 3 Regional Director Alimbzar P. Asum said in an interview that the training aims to enhance the information and communications technology (ICT) skills and competencies of the residents that will help them in venturing into the digital world.

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