22 March 2019 – To better guide the government’s ICT agenda, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) have partnered to conduct two flagship projects on ICT statistics.

On Thursday, the DICT, led by Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr., formally sealed the partnership with the PSRTI with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to greenlight the National ICT Household Survey (NICTHS) and the Pipol Konek User Feedback Analysis.

“From this NICTHS and Pipol Konek user feedback study, we can design more cost-effective plans for our ICT projects. It is now time to buckle down to the real work ahead of us,” Rio said.

Also a partner in this undertaking is the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which is providing the clearance review and technical inputs of the projects, in particular for the NICTHS.

The NICTHS aims to gather baseline data on household access and use of ICT services and equipment. The survey will measure key indicators of household ICT use in selected barangays for evidence-based planning and policy formulation.

The other survey, meanwhile, concerns the Pipol Konek (Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places) project of DICT seeks to establish free hotspots across the country. Having connected over 3.5 million unique users from the last six months through over 2,300 hotspots as of March 2019, the Pipol Konek User Feedback Analysis seeks to examine the outcomes of the project on people’s access to social services and economic opportunities.

PSRTI and PSA were represented by Executive Director Josefina V. Almeda and Director Divina Gracia L. Del Prado, respectively.

Executive Director Almeda of PSRTI said that they had already listed field supervisors for the nationwide survey and have been engaged in extensive planning and preparation since last year.

“Our partnership will provide the foundation for more responsive ICT plans and policies to benefit our nation for the years to come,” Almeda said. 

“As a breakthrough initiative in ICT statistics, we have high hopes that this partnership will stir more opportunities to develop programs and activities that will cater to the emerging needs of the public,” Ms. del Prado said. 

The conduct of the NICTHS has long been a proposal of the Inter-Agency Committee on ICT Statistics since 2015 but was only in 2018 that the NICTHS was granted a budget allocation for its nationwide implementation. The Plans and Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the National ICT Planning, Policy and Standards Bureau (NIPPSB) is the Project Lead.

With pre-tests of both surveys done, a Training of Trainors for the NICTHS is scheduled to be conducted on May 2019, to be followed by the nationwide rollout of enumerators for the survey proper.