2 December 2019 – Four Filipino students bagged five gold and six silver medals in the Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) held last November 25 to 29 in Busan, South Korea.

GITC is an annual competition aimed at helping youth with disabilities overcome their limitations and challenge themselves for a better future through the provision of access to ICT and related experiences.  

The Philippine team, composed of Valenzuela National High School’s Florenz Jaime Fernandez, who has low vision, and Keith Rafael Ignacio, who has a learning disability; Manila High School’s Karl Francis Du, who is deaf; and General Pio Del Pilar National High School’s Ace Benedict Dayto, who has motor disability, competed alongside participants from 19 countries.

The team won Best Award (Gold) in eContent Challenge, showing their skills in video making. The team also won an Excellence Award (Silver) in eCreative Challenge, which tested their competency in assembling, programming and maneuvering a robot car.

In individual contests, Fernandez and Du received excellence awards in eLifemap Challenge (web browsing) and eTool Challenge (Powerpoint and Excel), respectively.

Fernandez was also awarded the 2019 Global IT Leader for garnering the highest individual points accumulated from all the contests.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) helped in facilitating the Pre-Departure Training and 5-Day Refresher Course of the Philippine delegates who also won in the National IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities 2019 last July 6. The DICT tapped ICT instructors to train delegates in advance web search, office tools and movie making, scratch programming and robotics, among others.

Section 2(k) of Republic Act 10844 mandates the DICT to empower, through the use of ICT, the disadvantaged segments of the population, including the elderly, persons with disabilities and indigenous and minority groups, thus, promoting inclusive growth.  

The DICT partnered with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) in supporting and assisting the Philippine delegates.