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Improving Public Awareness of ICT in the Philippines

ICT plays a key role in any country’s development. Great opportunities are readily available to anyone who is competent in this field. As a result, it is crucial for a country to produce ICT-literate citizens who will establish the infrastructure required to survive in this digitally-age society.

In response to this demand, the Department of ICT in the Philippines (DICT) continuously introduces ICT into its system. The government of the Philippines is also doing everything possible to provide technological advancement to its people.

Despite appealing visions and initiatives launched by public and private entities to help the country leverage technology, the status of ICT in the Philippines is still characterised by some identified barriers.

To address this, a recent webinar organised by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) had opened to the public of the Philippines to enhance their knowledge on ICT as well as other barriers to securing jobs during the pandemic.

In a study, PDIS research showed that information and communications technology paves the way for the development of digital labour platforms, providing economic opportunities to Filipinos. Moreover, the PIDS researcher was the author of a study that indicated the need to improve workers’ knowledge and skills on ICT and the internet to maximise the gains from digital labour platforms.

Based on the study, 51% of the people in the Philippines do not use the Internet due to a lack of knowledge on what it is and how to use it, while 31% do not engage in online work due to lack of knowledge or skills.

It has been observed that attempts to improve and reform education through ICTs necessitate clear and specific objectives, guidelines, and time-bound targets, mobilisation of necessary resources, and political commitment at all levels to see the initiative through to full implementation.

Furthermore, it has been pointed out that, there is a need to bring together private and public providers to serve the demand for skills and training. Moreover, it is suggested building on existing programs and initiatives, such as the Philippine Roadmap Initiative and other webinars on tips securing jobs on job portals, which could be used to design a comprehensive and integrated skills system for the public.

It is also advised those efforts should be made by governments as well to improve ICT access and to encourage people to utilise ICT more. Most certainly, ICT is essential in the current social scenario, particularly during the COVID19 global pandemic. The government focuses on how different actors, such as individuals, non-profit organisations, and governments, are using ICT to respond to the COVID crisis around the world.

In order to identify the factors with the most influence on users, studies included government officials’ accounts, enterprise official accounts, and individuals’ public accounts as information sources. Surveys from various ICT survey portals were the first initiatives DICT implemented to determine the number of people who require ICT guidance.

In an article by OpenGov Asia, it was reported that per the ICT Statistics Roadmap 2020-2022, the DICT is mandated to conduct surveys as part of the Digital Philippines initiative. These include the Women and Development Index Survey 2020, NICTHS Expanded Data Analysis and Policy Research, Education and ICT Survey, Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Survey 2021, National Government Agencies (NGA) – Local Government Units (LGU) Survey, and the National ICT Household Survey 2022.

DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said that data and ICT statistics serve as a guide to ensure the government keeps national ICT development initiatives on the right course. Data gathered can help government agencies monitor programmes and develop evidence-based projects and policies geared towards improving the lives of Filipinos, especially now as the country transitions to a new way of life.

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