Tech4ED Project presented during the BIMP-EAGA ICT Cluster Meeting. (Photo courtesy of DICT)

Neighbouring countries have lauded the country’s “innovative and inclusive” ICT programs that promote ICT Rural Outreach Programs (iROP) and e-commerce.

In a statement, Department of Information Communication and Technology (DICT) Asst. Secretary Alan Silor said that the Philippines was praised by the representatives of the BIMP-EAGA nations because of the promising progress presented on iROP and e-commerce that hope to bring progress in far-flung territories.

Silor and BIMP-EAGA representatives were in Palawan on June 26 for the 7th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) ICT Cluster Meeting.

Philippine Head of Delegation for BIMP-EAGA ICT Cluster, ASec Alan A. Silor presents Philippine efforts on iROP and promotion of e-commerce in the countryside. (Photo courtesy of DICT)

The statement said that no less than the BIMP-EAGA Chairperson and Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Media Undersecretary Maro Verabathran commended the programs such as the Tech4Ed and Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places (Pipol Konek) projects, urging other member countries to learn from the initiatives.

In the Philippines’ report, there are already over 3000 Tech4ED Centers established across the country, covering 100 percent of provinces with around 1,000 located in Palawan and Mindanao.

Pipol Konek has reached 2,400 live sites available nationwide, of which 363 are within Palawan and Mindanao, it stated.

Additionally, the Philippines presented that over 100 government agencies in Mindanao are interconnected through the Government Network project based on the e-Government Masterplan 2022 seeking to digitize and streamline processes in the government.

“We intend to make industry development inclusive, especially in the countryside, creating more jobs, making communities more resilient and putting in greater trust in society,” the statement quoted Silor.

During the meeting, the Philippines also showcased its project proposal entitled “Cross Border Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) System Integration, a project that will be endorsed to the Environment Cluster of BIMP-EAGA.

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr., commended the BIMP-EAGA body for its cooperative spirit.

“The Philippines extends its admiration to our friends from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, for trailblazing technology innovations, especially in broadband ecosystem development, advancing the state of telecommunications, and disaster management practices,” Rio said.

The 7th BIMP-EAGA ICT Cluster Meeting gathered the four nations — Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines — to meet to discuss and promote strategies and projects that enhance economic development within the EAGA region using ICT.