Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DigiBayanihan to reach and transform up to 5 mn Filipinos by end-2015

    March 31, 2015, MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The key partners of DigiBayanihan, a nationwide, multi-stakeholder digital literacy movement announced today that it will target to touch up to five million Filipinos through its digital literacy and volunteering initiatives by the end of this year. 

    The eFilipino program of Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) aims to harness the use of ICT to achieve growth and development of communities in the Philippines thru Tech4Ed Innovation hubs.  “We believe that DigiBayanihan will further fuel and propel the eFilipino program,” said Bettina Quimson, DOST-ICTO Deputy Executive Director. “DigiBayanihan, is a Movement of Volunteerism focusing on digital literacy; very much aligned to our Tech4Ed and free Public WiFi projects; it provides additional support to the ICT trainings of our people.”

     With the ICTO-DOST being a critical partner in DigiBayanihan, the movement also plans to enhance its partnerships with other stakeholders, in particular, the private sector, civil society organizations, academic institutions and international agencies, to include more National Government Agencies such as National Youth Commission and TESDA.

    The transformed DigiBayanihan initiative will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST). Ms. Ashley Venerable of ASSIST reiterated the importance of partnerships for the success of this nationwide movement. Ms. Venerable added that “ASSIST and AsianNGO are proud to act as a catalyst in this whole process and looking forward to making this into a truly national movement.”

     “Intel believes that DigiBayanihan has already achieved one of the goals we first set in mid-2014, and that is to put digital literacy at the forefront of the national agenda for human and economic development,” said Calum Chisholm, Intel Philippines Country Manager. “With DOST-ICTO supporting DigiBayanihan as a component of its national strategy, we hope to see the full impact of a digitally-literate Filipinos in just a few years. Intel is proud to be a driving force in this initiative and we will continue to lend our expertise in IT education among the youth and technology leadership to ensure that we reach the digitally excluded members of the population.”  

     DigiBayanihan partners are working together to reach more Filipinos by showcasing basic digital skills as a first step. Intel’s digital literacy program, Easy Steps, is the current mainstay of DigiBayanihan. However, plans are in place to expand the program by creating more Philippine-focused topics. 

     “Apart from ICT skills literacy, DigiBayanihan will also promote digital empowerment and citizenship,” said Mr. Sreeni Narayanan of ASSIST. “A digitally enabled and empowered Filipino will be a responsible citizen no matter where.”

      From its launch in mid-2014, DigiBayanihan has successfully trained over 100, 000 Filipinos. This year, it is expected that DigiBayanihan will exponentially increase its reach through volunteerism. Volunteers will be mobilized to organize and implement the local activities that will bring digital literacy and digital citizenship within the reach of most Filipinos.

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