Friday, September 22, 2023

DICT pilots ITU’s ‘Smart Village Initiative’ in Zamboanga island

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recently launched the Smart Village Initiative in Sacol Island, Zamboanga City.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-led Smart Village Initiative seeks to equip its beneficiaries with the necessary ICT tools and access to connectivity to improve and expand services in healthcare, education, agriculture, and local governance.

The DICT said that by adopting the whole-of-government approach, other government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and private sector partners can assist the DICT in providing skills training programs in the Sacol Island Smart Village.

DICT assistant secretary for regional development and concurrent officer-in-charge of Region IX and BASULTA Maria Teresa M. Camba said the Smart Village Initiative will aid in implementing the sustainable development goals and meet the identified needs of the community in Sacol.

“We have invited many agencies, both from the government and the private sector. We need to be with them because the other community needs identified were not necessarily ICT related,” Camba said.

DICT undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue also expressed her full support for the launch of the smart village, given that she’s the ITU councilor of the Philippines.

“This theme encapsulates the vision and goals of the government and the ICT sector in harnessing technology to foster connectivity, enhance quality of life, and drive the country’s digital transformation,” Batapa-Sigue said.

In a statement, DICT secretary Ivan John Uy emphasized the agency’s resolve to provide connectivity in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), enabling Filipinos to actively participate in the digital economy and closing the digital gap in the nation.

“We were able to allow the connection of Sacol Island through our wireless technology. For the first time, the island was able to connect to the Internet. Now, they will be able to communicate with their loved ones, transact business online, access their online, e-wallets, or electronic payments, as well as to be able to open digital bank account,” Uy said.


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