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PIA Press Release

Philippine CeC Roadmap for 2011-2016 turns CeC wheel to rural barangays

Tacloban City (November 27) -- After the successful implementation of the three-year roadmap which envisioned "A CeC in every Municipality," the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and the and the Philippine Community eCenter Network (PhilCeCNet) have come up with the Philippine Community eCenter Roadmap for 2011-2016 which expands the CeC vision by turning the CeC steering wheel to the rural barangays.

Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, Chairman of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, made the pronouncement in his keynote message at the 6th Knowledge Exchange Center for Community eCenters which was held on November 24 to 25, 2010 at the Parklane International Hotel in Cebu City.

Secretary Uy said that parallel to the efforts of the national government to develop the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan under the Aquino Administration, the CICT is leading the efforts in putting together the Philippine Digital Strategy 2011-2016, which is the successor plan to the Strategic Roadmap 2006-2010.

One of the key targets in this Strategy is universal access and digital inclusion for Filipinos.

Aligned with such national development goals, the PhilCeCNet has also embarked on the Philippine CeC Roadmap for 2011-2016. This successor Roadmap expands the CeC program vision by turning the CeC steering wheel to the rural barangays.

Secretary Uy disclosed that five strategies have been identified to achieve this vision. The strategies include the establishment of new and strengthening of existing CeCs across the country.

The second strategy is to focus on content development to help ensure that content and services of CeCs are attuned to the needs of users.

Another strategy is to ensure competence of knowledge workers of the CeC workers through training in the CeC Academy.

The fourth strategy is to develop a national telecommunications program for rural and deprived areas and CeCs to help address issues such as connectivity, power, and the appropriate technology solutions.

Finally, the fifth strategy is to pursue advocacy programs to reach a broader group of stakeholders and engage them in community development efforts.

The original 3-year Philippine CeC Roadmap came into being with its vision of "A CeC in Every Municipality." There were then 755 Community eCenters in the country. Today, there are 1,400 CeCs, Secretary Uy said. Quite a number of them have transcended their beginnings and are now much enhanced facilities such as the eSkwela hybrids, Secretary Uy added.

Secretary Uy said he is very much pleased to hear all of the initiatives being undertaken by the CeCs, such as strengthening their operations through equipment, connectivity, and study grants; building their capacities with the Community eCenter Academy, implementation of online courses, pursuit of exchange programs for CeC managers in Luzon and Visayas, development of thematic content including identification of content needs and gaps.

All these efforts have brought about three very exciting developments for the Philippine CeC Program. Starting early this year, the Philippines has hosted the global program when it was transferred from its headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.

The PhilCeCNet portal has had its share of recognition, Secretary Uy said, winning the Disabled-Friendly Website Award and also emerging as a semi-finalist in the 11th Philippine Web Awards.

Just over a month ago, the Philippine CeC Program bested all other international nominees in the Digital Inclusion Category of the FutureGov Awards for 2010, Secretary Uy said. (PIA 8) [top]

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