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The Philippines Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) has vowed to implement projects and programs that align with the ambitious digital transformation plans articulated recently by President Bongbong Marcos, or PBBM for short.
The Manila Bulletin reports that DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy disclosed this during a press briefing to mark the launch of a partnership with Elon Musk’s Starlink that will see the company deploy broadband internet connectivity in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in the country by the fourth quarter of 2022.
Uy stated that the department has extensive plans to work with other government agencies and the education sector. One of its programs, called Stimulating the growth of Emerging Technology in the Philippines (SET PH), will focus on technologies like data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain.
Under this program, DICT will develop the enabling environment to sustain the growth of the ecosystems of these technologies. As part of the project, the department has also initiated a self-development program called Tech Trends to provide Filipinos with skills for jobs in the ICT sector.
“We need to build up our digital workforce. Schools are producing skill sets that are not aligned with the demands of the industry… We will work with the education sector to match the skills and demands of the employers,” he said.
The DICT-Starlink project will complement the “BroadBand ng Masa” project, where the agency works with Facebook and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to lay a 240-kilometer fiber corridor that connects the country’s western and eastern modular information technology facilities.
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The project is a major part of PBBM’s Build, Better More digital transformation Program that he described during his first-ever State of the Nation Address (SONA) as the “fourth industrial revolution.” The ambitious plans have been said to potentially transform the country into a blockchain hub as it intends to deploy the technology for a host of use cases.
Meanwhile, several government agencies have already been working on finding use cases for blockchain technology in the Philippines. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has revealed that it is looking to use blockchain technology in exploring new financial markets infrastructure.
The BSP is also deep in developing its blockchain-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the retail and wholesale sectors, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor Edna Villa told CoinGeek. Another agency expanding the Philippines’ blockchain adoption is the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which is training its staff on the various use case scenarios of the emerging field.
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