Issue of November 4, 2018

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Government’s online training platform useful to Pinoys – PIDS
by PIDS release

The use of digital technology to provide financial assistance and training to Filipinos proves to be effective.

This is according to case studies of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) that looked into the benefits of digitalization in the country.

The studies focused on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Online Program (TOP) and the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Bank’s konek2CARD (k2C).

These studies are part of the Regional Inclusive Growth Project known as ‘Diginomics’ funded by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society, in partnership with the PIDS.

Led by Research Fellow Francis Mark Quimba and Research Analyst Sylwyn Calizo Jr. of PIDS, the project aimed to assess the state of digital economy in the Philippines, specifically the potential benefits and risks that may come along with the digital economy.   

Launched by Tesda in 2012, the TOP is the first massive open online courseware in the Philippines. It is an open educational resource that aims to make technical education more accessible to Filipino citizens through the use of information and communications technology (ICT). It caters to students, out-of-school youths, unemployed adults, local and overseas workers, and professionals here and abroad.

As of December 2017, there are more than one million registered TOP users enrolled in its various courses, such as ICT, tourism, health, and electronics.

According to data cited by the authors, 60 percent of TOP enrollees are women. About 76.2 percent of online sessions occur in the Philippines whereas 23.8 percent are done overseas. As of May last year, 46.8 of enrollees have already completed the courses they were enrolled in.

Also, a perception survey administered by PIDS to 592 TOP registered users during the first quarter of 2018 showed that convenience (78 percent) and opportunity to learn at one’s own pace (71 percent) are the key reasons of respondents in using the online tool.

Moreover, 57 percent referred to accessibility and availability of materials as among the benefits of TOPS.

E-financing is also becoming a trend in the country. Financial institutions such as banks are slowly turning to digital technologies to improve their services and reach more clienteles. An example is CARD Bank’s k2C, a mobile banking application, which makes use of mobile data that allow its members to do real-time financial transactions online. They may also ask the help of agents in doing their transactions using this mobile application.

The k2C technology also allows CARD members to become shareholders through the transfer of their compulsory savings to the bank.

While the TOP and the k2C are evidence of effective reach, Quimba and Calizo noted that the digital divide in the Philippines still poses a considerable obstacle to growth.

Low computer ownership across households undermines access, aggravated by costly and inefficient Internet connection services. Cybersecurity issues are also major risks for the Filipino population, which can lead to online scam, data phishing, hacking, or theft. Also, the lack of awareness puts individuals in vulnerable positions.

The authors recommended the review of laws related to the provision of public goods and services, particularly the Internet, as well as the implementation of the Philippine Broadband Plan and the need to establish a strong working relationship among key actors in the digital economy and to promote the use of ICT.

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PWU Baguio
Technical Education & Skills Development Authority – CAR
University of Baguio

Baguio Central University
Baguio Country Club
Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Department of Health – CAR
John Hay Management Corporation
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
New Media Services
Pag–IBIG Fund
Pines City Colleges
Sangguniang Panlungsod

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Water District
Choobi Choobi
Congressman Mark O. Go
Councilor Leandro B. Yangot Jr.
Curamed Pharmacy
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR
Department of Science and Technology
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Far East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc.
Ganza & Solibao Restaurants
Gen. Benjie B. Magalong
GMS Technology
Governor Crescencio C. Pacalso
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
Mother Earth Deli Basket
Nagomi Spa
Narda’s / Sunflower Ridge
Northern Luzon School for the Visually Impaired, Inc.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Montessori, Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Police Regional Office – CAR
Regional Development Council – CAR and National Economic and Development Authority – CAR
Regional Tripartate Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
SN Aboitiz
Tony Boy Tabora
Veterans Bank

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