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The Philippines: NICT Month to Empower a Digital Nation

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The Philippines is embarking on a journey towards digital inclusivity, with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) leading the charge through its National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month 2024 celebration.

Marking June 2024 as a pivotal month for digital transformation, the DICT has unveiled the theme “Bayang Digital ang Bagong Pilipinas” (A Digital Nation, the New Philippines), emphasising the nation’s commitment to harnessing technology for the betterment of all citizens.

At the core of this initiative is the recognition of ICT as a catalyst for national development. With legal bases such as Proclamation No. 1521 and Republic Act No. 10844 providing the framework, the NICT Month celebration underscores the vital role of technology in shaping the future of the Philippines.

The theme “Bayang Digital ang Bagong Pilipinas” encapsulates the vision of a digitally connected nation, where government services are streamlined, cyber safety is prioritised, and opportunities for innovation and growth are abundant for every Filipino.

The objectives of the NICT Month are ambitious yet attainable. They aim to foster a sense of collective responsibility among people and government agencies alike to embrace the ethos of a Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines). Through active participation from the academe, private sector, and civil society, the goal is to advance national advocacy on ICT development, instil appreciation for Filipino achievements in the field of technology, and encourage public engagement in shaping the country’s ICT agenda.

To achieve these objectives, a series of meaningful activities and programmes have been proposed. These include town hall meetings, consultations on DICT policies, showcases of local ICT talents, and demonstrations of digitalised public services. These activities aim to engage stakeholders at all levels and empower them to contribute to the nation’s digital transformation.

The thematic weekly celebrations throughout June are designed to amplify the message of digital inclusivity. Each week focuses on a specific aspect of the digital journey, from fostering a digitally connected society to driving effective governance and advancing towards a progressive future. Through these themed weeks, NICT Month aims to spark conversations, inspire action, and drive progress towards a digitally empowered Philippines.

Crucial to the success of the NICT Month is collaboration and coordination among all stakeholders. Government agencies, non-government organisations, private sector entities, and academic institutions are called upon to organise relevant activities aligned with the theme and objectives of the celebration. By working together, these stakeholders can maximise the impact of the NICT Month and create lasting change in the country’s digital landscape.

In light of the ongoing effects of the pandemic, health and safety protocols must be observed during physical gatherings. Additionally, the celebration of NICT Month is a peaceful and non-partisan activity, emphasising unity and inclusivity across all sectors of society.

As the Philippines sets its sights on a digital future, the NICT Month 2024 serves as a rallying point for collective action. By embracing the theme “Bayang Digital ang Bagong Pilipinas” and committing to the objectives of the celebration, the nation can pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive digital landscape for all Filipinos.

The Philippines is dedicated to promoting inclusive digital transformation with initiatives targeting local government units, community-based programmes, and various organisations to enhance citizen upskilling and reskilling. Led by the DICT, efforts are focused on amplifying ICT capabilities at the grassroots level, ensuring equitable access to technological benefits.

DICT stresses the role of ICT councils in local digital advancement, addressing cybersecurity and the digital divide. Programmes like DIRECT drive digital literacy and economic growth, while UISGIDA aims to narrow digital disparities.

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