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Bridging the Digital Divide in the Philippines

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Laguna Provincial Office is spearheading a transformative initiative aimed at enhancing digital literacy and empowering communities through a comprehensive series of capacity development sessions.

Image credits: Philippine Information Agency

These sessions, strategically designed to cater to diverse sectors including senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), out-of-school youths, solo parents, academe, transportation, local government, and the private sector, underscore the critical importance of digital skills in navigating the complexities of today’s technology-driven society.

The training session focuses on equipping participants with a broad spectrum of essential digital skills, ranging from layout design and smartphone photography to cybersecurity awareness.

Hazel Pagao, the Provincial Officer of DICT Laguna, emphasised the paramount significance of digital literacy, particularly among vulnerable and marginalised groups, who are often disproportionately targeted by cybercriminals.

Pagao underscored the necessity of spreading digital literacy initiatives and stressed the importance of maintaining close coordination with local government units to effectively reach and benefit participants across the province.

Participants acknowledged the importance of staying abreast of digital trends and continuously enhancing skills in the ever-evolving digital landscape. They understood the intrinsic value of cybersecurity awareness, noting that the workshop provided invaluable insights that extended beyond the realms of the traditional school curriculum, thereby enhancing participants’ proficiency in crucial digital skills.

Others appreciated the programmes’s significance in enhancing operational efficiency and safeguarding organisational documents from the perils of cyber threats. The relevance of the acquired knowledge and skills, particularly in crafting robust quality management, operational management, and accounting systems, offers protection against potential cyberattacks.

Supporting and championing the initiative, Los Baños Councilor Miko Pelegrina underscored the critical importance of inclusivity and knowledge-sharing in fostering holistic community development. He advocated for the active involvement of knowledgeable resource persons to impart wisdom and insights, thereby fostering collaboration and synergy across diverse sectors, and particularly benefiting marginalised groups that often face systemic barriers to access and opportunity.

The DICT’s comprehensive training sessions also address and confront prevalent cyber threats observed across the country, encompassing malicious activities such as malware attacks, supply chain attacks, spoofing, password attacks, phishing, and business email compromise. Through these sessions, participants are equipped with invaluable techniques and strategies to mitigate risks and fortify their defences against the insidious onslaught of cybercrimes.

As the initiative continues to gather momentum and expand its reach, Pagao urges the public to remain vigilant and conscientious in their online endeavours, underlining the indispensable importance of verifying information and exercising prudence and discernment while engaging in digital transactions.

Through concerted and collaborative efforts, DICT’s digital training initiative stands poised to empower communities, bridge the digital divide, and elevate cybersecurity in Los Baños, Laguna, thereby heralding a new era of digital enlightenment and resilience.

OpenGov Asia reported that the Philippines is dedicated to training its citizens to harness the opportunities of digital transformation, ensuring they become integral members of the future workforce while prioritising their safety, with a range of learning options made available.

The DICT, led by Secretary Ivan John Uy, is implementing a nationwide upskilling initiative to enhance cybersecurity in the Philippines. In response to increasing cyber threats against government digital assets, Secretary Uy emphasizes the importance of equipping both government workers and the public with essential skills for navigating the digital landscape safely.

Initially focusing on government workers, the DICT plans to extend cyber training to the public, aligning with the National Cybersecurity Plan 2024-2028 and demonstrating the government’s commitment to fortifying cyber defences and protecting critical digital infrastructure.

These initiatives underscore the commitment of the government to address the ICT needs of Filipinos, fostering collaboration with organisations and local bodies to empower communities and enhance global competitiveness.


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