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Strengthening e-Governance Efforts in the Philippines

Ivan John Uy, secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), announced the department’s efforts to assist E-governance initiatives throughout the nation, suggesting that e-governance may soon become the “New Normal.”

With the extension and improvement of connection throughout the nation as its central goal, Secretary Ivan revealed the aggressive efforts of DICT to make connectivity accessible to every Filipino through faster and extensive connectivity projects wherein the department will offer free Wi-Fi and broadband connectivity in places that were designated as commercially unviable by private telecoms.

“The enhancement of connectivity will also be strategically positioned in tourist destinations with the help of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and in airports, seaports, and bus ports in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOTr),” says Sec Ivan.

The DICT also sees a fully digitalised government with easy access to services at the public’s fingertips. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will assist in the deployment of a single, comprehensive e-commerce portal for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) where MSMEs can provide products and services online -an ecosystem where they can fully benefit from digital payments and participate in the digital economy.

The majority of MSMEs are unable to use a digital payment option. To remedy it, DICT will cooperate with the DTI. All they have to do is sign up and list their goods or services, and the entire ecosystem—which includes payments, source materials, marketing, logistics, and access to credit—will work as it should.

Local Government Units (LGUs) will also benefit from accelerated digitalisation through the deployment of the iLGU, in which the DICT, in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), will provide a common platform on which LGUs can set up their online portals and services such as business permit issuances and work permits, among others.

This will aid in the reduction of red tape and the harmonisation of data from their constituents. The DICT Secretary also encouraged investors to capitalise in the Philippines, citing the country’s liberalisation of investment restrictions through the public service act, as well as the country’s young average population age of 23-24 years old, who are digitally literate and fluent in several languages.

The DICT pledged to keep fostering an environment that meets the requirements of the country while improving readily accessible resources like connectivity that is dependable, quick, and affordable.

Meanwhile, in a training course led by the DICT- Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs, and Economic Development (Tech4ED) Programme, 65 Indigenous People (IPs) from the Manide Tribe in the province of Camarines Norte, Bicol learned the fundamentals of computer technology concepts, the internet, and primary computer navigation.

The hands-on face-to-face training combined a lecture format with engaging computer exercises with the purpose of moulding participants into responsible digital citizens.

To optimise the equipment available and give more focused sessions with the registrants, the training was separated into three batches scattered across different dates. The Manide Tribe participants were able to see the benefits and opportunities that await them in cyberspace.

Specific subjects covered during the training course include Internet Definition, Website Types, Internet Threats, Safe Internet Use, Internet Etiquette, and Internet Navigation.

DICT believes that functional literacy is strongly linked to both general internet use and searching for public information online. Internet literacy can lead to increased ability to reap the benefits of the Internet.

The seminar was held in collaboration with the Camarines Norte National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Camarines Norte Provincial Library.

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