Empowering underserved Filipinos
Tech giant Intel partners with Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) in a nationwide multi-stakeholder digital literacy movement formed to make the entire Philippines digitally literate.
Called DigiBayanihan, the movement aims to promote digital literacy amongst all Filipinos to empower them with skills to harness the benefits of technology to improve their quality of life. While focused on all Filipinos, special emphasis is given to the underserved.
“Our main goal, is of course, to make every Filipinos, all 100 million of them be digitally literate. We will not stop until we reach our goal,” Calum Chisholm, Intel Philippines Country Manager, told The Standard in a sit-down interview.
The Intel official furthered that the main challenge the movement is facing right now is that, people have the devices to access important information online but most of them do not know how to use them.
“As a driving force of this initiative, 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.”
Chisholm said that DigiBayanihan has already achieved one of the goals they first set in mid-2014 when it was introduced, and that is to put digital literacy at the forefront of the national agenda for human and economic development. This year, it targets to touch up to five million Filipinos through its digital literacy and volunteering initiatives.
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.
Bettina Quimson, DOST-ICTO deputy executive director, explained that DigiBayanihan is very much aligned to the agency’s Tech4Ed, eFilipino and free Public WiFi projects, which all aim to harness the use of ICT to achieve growth and development of communities in the Philippines.
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.