After topping this year’s National IT Challenge (NITC) for youth with disabilities, four students will represent the country in the Global IT Challenge 2018 on November 08 to 11 in New Delhi, India.

The NITC is an annual competition organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) that aims to strengthen the IT capabilities of youth with disabilities to empower the sector and promote equal access to ICT.

One representative for each disability category was chosen and will undergo a two-week training and mentoring program before entering the global competition.

  1. Justin Philip Gonzales of Philippine School for the Deaf – Communication Disability
  2. Venus Alexis Arcayera Rescober of Quirino National High School – Visual Disability
  3. Carla Mae Coyoca Pasigpasigan of Valenzuela National High School –Physical Disability
  4. Lance Sebastian Llaguno of Valenzuela National High School – Learning Disability

DICT Assistant Secretary Carlos Mayorico E. Caliwara and NCDA Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Carmen Reyes Zubiaga awarded the certificates, medals and cash prizes to the winners.

Ma. Lourdes Aquilizan, Officer-In-Charge of DICT’s ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau, commended the participating students as they served as role model in shaping the future and society of youth with disabilities using ICT.

“May this [competition] serve as an impetus for more initiatives, for more partnership because so much has to be done in ensuring a responsible and ICT empowered youth with disabilities towards development of a disability inclusive society” Aquilizan said.

The Philippine delegation bagged several medals during the last GITC 2017, held in Hanoi, Vietnam. For this year, around 300 participants including 120 youth with disabilities from 24 Asia Pacific countries will gather in this event.

As such, the NCDA is the lead agency tasked to steer the course of program development for persons with disabilities and the delivery of services to the sector.

The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that plans, develops, and promotes the national ICT development agenda.