Community eCenter Initiatives
In the Philippines, various digital inclusion programs have been implemented since 1999. The following are the different CeC initiatives in the country:
:: eLGU Community eCenter Project (CICT-NCC)
One of the major components of the National Computer Center’s “Jumpstarting eGovernance in Local Government Units” (eLGU) Project is the establishment of 100 Community eCenters in different regions in the country.
These CeCs are seen as counduits that will pave the way for the transformation of local communities into better equipped, empowered organizations capable of participating proactively and co-existing competitively with global counterparts in the digital economy. This will be made possible through the provision of equipment and the conduct of ICT trainings to build the capability of their personnel as well as their clients.
:: Farmers Information and Technology Services Project (DOST-PCARRD)
The Farmers Information and Technology Services or FITS is one of the four modalities under the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development’s (DOST-PCARRD) Techno Gabay Program which aims to bring science-based information and technology services to end users in the agriculture, forestry and natural resources sector.
In an effort to hasten agriculture modernization by enhancing farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ access to knowledge and technologies, FITS Centers were established all over the country to serve as one-stop shops that allow access to a wide variety of information and technologies needed by agricultural extension workers, farmers, entrepreneurs, processors, traders, and other clients.
:: eSkwela Project (CICT Human Capital Development Group)
The eSkwela Project spearheaded by CICT’s Human Capital Development Group supports the Alternative Learning System as “The Other Side of Basic Education.” It aims to provide disadvantaged youth with useful educational opportunities to help reduce the digital divide and enhance their capacity to be successful participants in a global and knowledge-based economy.
eSkwela centers will be established in major centers around the country to foster the conduct of ICT-enhanced alternative education programs for the out-of-school youth.
The project aims to establish eSkwela centers in fourteen additional sites.
:: LGU Community eCenter Project (DOTC)
The LGU CeC Project under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) aims to establish 260 LGU-based CeCs nationwide. Each CeC shall be equipped with computer units, Internet connection and basic data processing software. It also intends to provide ICT trainings and develop the CeC Project Information System.
:: Mutlipurpose Community Telecenter Project (DOST)
Four MCT pilot sites were established in different barangays in Agusan del Norte and Lanao del Norte.
:: LMIP Community eCenter Project (LMIP)
The Last Mile Initiative Philippines (LMIP) supports the Commission on ICT's (CICT) Community eCenter Program in providing Filipinos with access to ICT technologies and services, particularly in rural or unserved communities.
Implemented through the USAID-funded Economic Modernization through Efficient Reforms through Governance Enhancement (EMERGE) Project, LMIP seeks to develop and identify affordable, sustainable and replicable models for bridging the digital divide.
To date, LMIP has helped set up ten CeCs throughout the country. Capitalizing on the stakeholders' strengths and expertise, all LMI CeCs are products of synergies of efforts from the private, civil society and government sectors.
:: Telecommunications Office Community eCenter Project
The project covers the establishment of 111 CeCs in the existing telephone exchanges and public calling stations of Telecommunications Offices nationwide and in areas strategically covered by the communications network of the government.
It seeks to provide the general public with access points for the delivery of eGovernment services and affordable access to a variety of information and communication services such as Internet access, email, word processing, fax, printing, Voice Over IP (VOIP), distance learning and other online community-based services.
To date, the delivery and installation of CeC equipment has been completed for all the TelOf CeC sites with the existing stations where the CeC would be located necessarily repaired and refurbished to accommodate the said equipment.
:: DOLE-OWWA Tulay Microsoft Project
Tulay or Bridge Education Program is an initiative of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in partnership with Microsoft Philippines. It provides overseas foreign workers (OFWs) IT training and access to technology that will enable them as well as their families to communicate through the Internet.
The project is part of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential (UP), a global initiative aimed at providing technology and skills for underserved individuals. OFWs and their families learn the basics of computer applications such as MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel as well as Internet and e-mail use at the Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLC).
Tulay's objectives are threefold: to broaden the career opportunities for OFWs; to facilitate communication within families; and to help re-integrate OFWs into the Philippine economy when they return.
The CTLCs being maintained and operated by DOLE-OWWA are located at the OWWA Central Office, OWWA Satellite Office in POEA, OWWA Regional Welfare Offices in La Union, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro. OWWA overseas posts with CTLCs are: Riyadh (KSA), Hong Kong, Taichung (Taiwan).