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The Philippines Joins ARENA-PAC, Launches Chatbot “Revie”

The Philippines was selected as one of the pilot nations to be connected to the Arterial Research and Educational Network in the Asia Pacific (ARENA-PAC) through its national research and education network (NREN).

The Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET) will be linked to a global NREN hub in Guam as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr of the Department of Science and Technology Institute (DOST) and Prof Jun Murai of Keio University.

Prof Murai, known as the Internet Samurai and widely regarded as the inventor of the internet in Japan, has played a key role in establishing network testbeds across the Asia Pacific to support innovation and cutting-edge technologies on the global internet.

ARENA-PAC is a backbone network that currently connects Tokyo, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore to a hub in Guam via several 100Gbps circuits. Future membership is anticipated to increase.

The next phase of ARENA-PAC’s advancement of science and technology, which will benefit not only the Asia Pacific region but also the world’s research and educational communities, will begin with this new process for high-speed additional internet connectivity in collaboration with DOST-ASTI.

These kinds of cooperation, according to DOST Secretary Renato, are crucial for the nation, particularly in the field of research and development, where cooperation with other nations in the Asia-Pacific region is crucial.

The fact that this collaboration with the Japanese counterparts is a direct result of the DOST-long-standing ASTI’s relationship with them makes it particularly significant. “Because any cooperation activities will be based on trust and a positive working relationship, it is crucial that we nurture our relationships with our collaborators,” says DOST Secretary Renato.

The precursor to the collection of science infrastructures that ASTI maintains, PREGINET has been igniting research and educational activities across the nation.

Numerous research projects have been conducted in the fields and applications of disaster risk reduction management, bioinformatics, health, and distance learning thanks to these scientific infrastructures. The ARENA-PAC offers members and partners of PREGINET the chance to maximise research opportunities and create successful partnerships within the networked world.

Meanwhile, a new version of the BIR Digital Assistant – Chatbot REVIE is now available and includes TIN Verification/Validation, RDO Finder, and an eComplaint facility, according to the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The eComplaint, on the other hand, is a service that enables taxpayers to file complaints against businesses for failing to issue receipts or invoices, engaging in tax evasion, and other violations of the Tax Code.

The eComplaint facility can also be used to file complaints against incompetent BIR employees or officials.

Revie, the BIR’s digital assistant, was introduced in June 2021 to address general inquiries from taxpayers as well as frequently asked questions about registration, BIR Forms, the zonal value of properties, and BIR eServices.

The BIR website’s home page provides 24/7 access to this artificial intelligence. If a taxpayer using the service needs more clarification on Revie’s responses, they can also chat with a live agent.

The enhancement of Chatbot “Revie” is part of the BIR’s Digital Transformation (DX) Programme, which aims to improve taxpayers’ experiences when transacting with the BIR by providing additional channels through which they can raise questions and concerns about their tax compliance obligations.

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