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DOST calls all Filipinos to connect for inclusive growth

 

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo during his discussion about the benefits of online government services.

 

The Department of Science and Technology Information and Communications Technology (DOST-ICT) Office encouraged every Filipino to connect to the internet and access online government information and services including eHealth, during the digital empowerment program Juan, Konek! ICT Tungo sa Sama-samang Pag-unlad on 8 May 2015 at Pulilan Central Elementary School, Bulacan.

Juan, Konek! is a campaign of the DOST-ICT Office in response to the implementation of their Television White Space (TVWS) Technology and Free Wi-Fi in Public Places Project. TVWS are vacant frequencies between broadcast TV channels which can be used to provide wireless data connectivity to remote communities. Pilot testing of the technology is ongoing in Bohol and Leyte provinces. The Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places project, on the other hand, aims to bring free connectivity across the country with 256 kilobits per second (kbps) average speed.

According to Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre, ICT Office Executive Director, the campaign recognizes the importance of government services to the well-being of the Filipinos especially those living in unserved and underserved areas having limited or no access to government services. “It is always been the government’s role to serve its nation… and ensure that all citizens are taken care of,” he stated.

Usec. Casambre also encouraged people to take advantage of the online services offered by the government as ICT Office aims for 99% connectivity in 2015. “Together let’s break the barriers and build and strengthen connections so that no one will be left behind,” he emphasized.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, meanwhile, explained the benefits that people can get from the online government services such as eSkills, eRecruit, eEntrepreneurship, eRuralEconomy, eGovernment, eCommunity, eDisasterRiskReductionManagement (DRRM) and eHealth. He emphasized the advantages of eHealth and RxBox explaining that diagnosis can be possible even without personal visit to the doctors.

RxBox is an ICT innovation designed to provide further access to life-saving health services in isolated and disadvantaged communities. During the event, there was also a live demonstration that showed how the innovation is capable of capturing medical signals through built-in sensors, storing data in an electronic medical record, and transmitting health information via internet.

Other highlights of the event were the talks of person with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizen sectors representatives about the effects of technology in their lives.

According to Rhea Guntalilib, a visually impaired individual who was able to finish her studies in Programming, technology and ICT changed her life positively. “The best change it [ICT] has brought to my life is it gave me back the hope and confidence that I lost when I lost my sight,” she shared.

Other speakers also present were Pulilan, Bulacan Mayor, Hon. Vicente Esguerra, Mynd Consulting Owner, Ms. Myrna Padilla, Del Carmen, Siargao Mayor, Hon. Alfredo Coro and Pulilan, Bulacan Acting Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Concepcion Antonino.

To view what has transpired during the event, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbddxbzCSVE. ■