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EXCLUSIVE – Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum 2019: Recognition of Excellence for Filipino agencies – Part 4

This is Part 4 of a four part series. See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 here.

Over 208 government officials and senior technology executives from across the Philippine government, academic institutions and healthcare organisations convened at the 3rd Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum 2019 on 25 April 2019 at the New World Makati Hotel.

Held in conjunction with the Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum, the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence (RoE) 2019 recognised and celebrated a total of 13 government agencies, academic institutions, organisations and a city from the Philippines for striving towards excellence in ICT strategies, policies and initiatives.

The annual OpenGov Recognition of Excellence (RoE) aims to set new benchmarks for government ICT innovation in the ASEAN and ANZ regions.

The Philippines has embarked on an exciting digital transformation journey, seeking to improve the lives of citizens through the use of digital technology. This year’s OpenGov Recognition of Excellence award winners are:

Department of Information and Communications Technology

Mr Denis Villorente, Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Department of Information and Communications Technology

OpenGov is recognising the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for three projects launched in 2018.

  1. Pipol Konek Project

The Pipol Konek Project aims to make free public Wi-Fi accessible throughout the country, thereby connecting the unconnected.

This is in line with the National Broadband Plan to increase the accessibility of free Wi-Fi to Filipino citizens, building a stronger digital nation.

The free internet connectivity will be provided in public places such as public schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, and transport hubs.

This initiative aims to reach out to those in the unserved and underserved areas in the country. For its implementation, DICT prioritises the Class 3 to 6 municipalities, followed by Class 1 to 2 municipalities and the cities.

Pipol Konek has integrated free public Wi-Fi across 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities. Recently, Camarines Sur became the province with the highest number of towns connected to the Internet with hotspots installed in 19 municipalities.

The project allows Filipinos to take advantage and gain free access to the Internet while on the go at any time of the day, allowing opportunities for online education, knowledge management, and careers that are beneficial for the citizens as well as national growth.

  1. National ICT Ecosystem Framework 2022.

The National ICT Ecosystem Framework 2022 is a roadmap for the Philippines to encourage ICT sectors innovation and advancement that promote accessibility, security and sustainability.

It is dubbed as the government’s response to the growing need for an authoritative reference encompassing the entirety of the ICT agenda.

It is a comprehensive blueprint that will harmonise the country’s ICT data. It, thereby, allows the Department to transform raw data to valuable information.

Moreover, it aims to serve as a viewfinder and a strategic compass directing responses to ICT challenges.

The idea of the framework is to situate ICT data and its potential applications in an organised framework that is sensitive to a society’s dynamic nature.

It is the key to developing a knowledge society designed to maximise the benefits of open governance, magnify the advantages of industry applications and multiply the opportunities of skills development.

The framework has six strategic thrusts. These are:

  1. Participatory e-Governance
  2. Industry and Countryside Development
  3. ICT User Protection and Information Security
  4. Improved Public Links and Connectivity
  5. Resource Sharing and Capacity Building throughout ICT
  6. Enabling & Sustainable ICT Environment

It is still an evolving framework, with a series of regional consultations being drawn to manifest best practices and distinct policy approaches for a holistic framework development.

In order to effectively respond and cater to the needs of the countryside, sub-committees will be formed and created.

The strong sense of collaboration focused on bridging the digital gap makes it a truly living document.

This initiative harnesses innovation through collaboration for the digital economy benefits of the citizens.

  1. Initiatives in support of women utilising the Internet and technology

Numerous trainings were done to empower women on the use of technology. These trainings highlighted the importance of ICT entrepreneurship in women empowerment and the role they play in the economy.

One of which, is a Digital Marketing and e-Commerce training, which was made possible through the DICT’s Rural Impact and Sourcing (RIS) Technical Training Program.

The RIS Technical Training for Women is a special course under the RIS Technical Training Program in order to guarantee that Filipinos especially women can compete in the industry especially in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Filipinos, especially those in the countryside, need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge that will prepare them as the workforce and work environment are changing.

This will enable the residents to compete for online jobs in the freelancing and home-based outsourcing industry segments and firms.

Aside from empowering the local talents with the skills and knowledge, the training is also a good venue for collaboration since it also provides an online marketing opportunity for MSMEs.

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