ANGARA PUSHES FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Senator Sonny Angara with ICT Stakeholders

The Philippines need to adopt a digital transformation as part of its major strategies to face the current crisis brought about by the pandemic.

Prompted by this urgent need, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara authored a bill for the creation of a national digital transformation policy to focus on the digital competence and skills of Filipinos, promotions digitally-enabled jobs, education and government service.

The bill seeks to create a digital competence framework for citizens to serve as a standard tool in improving the digital competence of citizens, guide in formulate of policies that support digital competence building, and plan education and training initiatives to improve the digital competence of various specific target groups.

It also aims to create an information and communications technology (ICT) competency framework for teachers to outline the competencies that teachers, educators and trainers need in order to integrate ICT into their professional practice. The framework shall be used to compare the teachers’ competencies in different regions, provinces, cities and municipalities, to analyze and develop educational programs and training courses of teacher professional development at national or regional level. It shall provide guidelines and a basic set of qualifications to develop courses for pre-service or in-service teachers, in order to enable teachers to integrate ICT in a pedagogically effective way.

Another provision of the bill is the creation of a national digital strategy to develop a national economy that is founded on knowledge and innovation, ensuring that every citizen shall have the opportunity to understand and learn ICT and develop skills and ability to apply the ICT in their work, vocation, business and life in society to achieve become part of national socio-economic development and growth.

The proposed bill envisions digital Inclusion to enable all citizens, irrespective of age, gender, physical ability, ethnicity, health conditions, or socio-economic status to access the opportunities of the internet. Citizens, businesses and public services must take full advantage of the transformational benefits of the digital revolution.  To achieve this, there shall be digital libraries and learning hubs to improve digital communication, increasing citizen’s digital footprint, promoting digital inclusion and transform these libraries as providers of digital access, training and support for local communities.

The bill also promotes digital entrepreneurship or the digitization of businesses according to their own specific digital needs, mainly focused on these four core digital activities, such as maintaining a web presence, selling online, using the cloud, and digitizing back-office functions such as payroll and human resource management, in order to become or remain competitive.

To ensure the highest standards of public service, the Civil Service Commission shall also identify and consolidate all the skills and competencies of public employees in the career service and recommend and cause the conduct of digital skills training under an annual digital skills mapping activity. All public employees shall be covered under a mandatory basis of certification under the digital competence framework for citizens to identify areas the need training and intervention.

The proposed bill also aims to establish national digital skills development strategy from primary up to post-graduate level, identifying work-related digital skills training programs for out-of-school youth, including for freelancers and part-time workers and training programs for adults requiring re-skilling and life skills in the digital economy for all citizens. The bill

To oversee the implementation of digital transformation, the bill will create a National Digital Transformation composed of relevant government agencies and at least ten representatives from the private sector that is involved in digital skills and talent development organizations, digital industries and jobs, or digital systems and products.

FULL TEXT OF SENATE BILL 1470

Published by Jocelle Batapa Sigue

ATTY. JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE • Named as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service of the Philippines or TOWNS for 2016 in the field of Information and Communications Technology or ICT • Positions: Past Vice President (2018) and Past President (2010-2012) and Past Trustee (2013-2017) of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines or NICP • Founder, Former President and Current Executive Director of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT or BNEFIT • Served for 3 terms as councilor of Bacolod City • Chosen as one of Asia Society Top Ten Philippines 21 Young Leaders in 2009 • Chosen as the Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012 • Awarded as Philippine Individual Contributor of the Year during the International ICT Awards given by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines

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