Six out of the 2336 operating centers shone bright in the National Tech4ED Awards 2018 last 15 November 2018 in Davao City.
For their excellence and innovative approach, three e-centers bagged the distinction of Outstanding Tech4Ed centers:
- Carmona Tech4Ed Center – Cavite
- Nolitc Tech4Ed Center – Negros Occidental
- Tayabas Tech4Ed Center – Quezon
Three newly-operated e-centers which displayed promising start in their community were also cited as Emerging Tech4Ed Centers:
- Urdaneta City Library Tech4Ed Center – Pangasinan
- Villasis Municipal Library Tech4Ed Center – Pangasinan
- Lamitan City Tech4Ed Center – Basilan
Sustainability of Tech4Ed centers were also highlighted as 32 e-centers were honored with 10-year Award while 62 e-centers were given the 5-Year Award.
“They [the winners] are really reaching out to their communities and they are truly embracing the program with the support of our LGU partners,” said DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 Director Teresa Camba, who also headed the National Tech4Ed Award.
But the competition for the national recognition will be much tougher by next year as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) eyes to set up more e-centers in 2019.
The DICT is eyeing to add 1700 Tech4Ed centers around the country after the program that aims to deliver ICT in the countryside received a bigger budget allocation, hiking the total Tech4Ed center number to around 4000.
“We were given more than double our budget, so that means we must also double our target,” said Camba.
According to Director Camba, out of this planned 1700 centers, 100 will be established as Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) Hubs, which will focus on offering ICT skills for online jobs. The program will also go mobile with 8 Tech4Ed mobile bus to go around provinces.
Currently, there are 2336 Tech4Ed centers operating in the country, having at least one center in each province. However, only 40% are covered by the program in the municipal level.
To improve the situation, Acting ICT Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. vowed to continue intensifying the government’s connectivity initiatives, such as the National Broadband Program (NBP) and the entry of the New Major Player, which are in line with the Department’s Vision 2020.
“We are having a hard time setting up Tech4Ed center in areas where there is absence of service from the existing telcos, but come 2020, with the implementation of the NBP and the arrival of the NMP, this can all change,” said Acting Secretary Rio.