DICT to provide teachers with ICT trainings

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2020   •   152

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is set to conduct online seminars or ‘webinars’ to teachers under the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The program is aimed at preparing teachers to adapt to alternative learning systems under the ‘new normal’.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the DICT said it has directed its ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau (ILCDB), Cybersecurity Bureau, and Regional offices to be the line agencies that will “formulate and facilitate the conduct of webinars aimed at capacitating and upskilling the ICT competencies of teachers, administrators, educators, and students in different public and private educational institutions and state universities and colleges (SUCs).”

The department is confident that these capacity building activities will better arm the teachers  “for the potential use of available ICT enabled education services, such as online learning management systems, video conferencing platforms, and online educational resources, with due regard to raising awareness on safe cybersecurity and privacy practices.”

This project is in line with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-MEID) Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines which directs schools to decide on the specific learning delivery modes, such as blended and online learning that they will use to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the schoolyear.

“ICT has become crucial for retaining a sense of continuity for our society, especially in the education sector. DICT is here to help upskill the ICT capacity of our teachers in order for them to utilize the full potential of ICT in providing quality education to their students given the disruptions in holding face-to-face classes,” Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

The DICT initially offered free online technical and digital trainings to concerned personnel and professionals in the government and private sectors.

“We will continue to work towards providing digital literacy and capacity to different sectors in order for our nation to better adapt to the new normal. All of these initiatives is in support of the administration’s efforts through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” Secretary Honasan said. — /mbmf

IATF includes Central Visayas, Zambo City in areas under GCQ come June 1

Maris Federez   •   May 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has added several provinces and cities to the list of areas that will be placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.

This, after several local government executives made their appeal to the IATF-MEID to reclassify the community quarantine status of their respective areas.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Region 7 or the Central Visayas, including Cebu City and Mandaue City, and the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao are now among the areas that will be under the GCQ come Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday initially announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions II, III, and IV, the province of Pangasinan and the city of Davao are placed under GCQ.

The rest of the areas that the chief executive did not mention will be placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month.

Under the GCQ, more economic sectors will be able to resume operation, while those that will be under the MGCQ will transition to the “new normal” way of living.

Meanwhile, the Malacañang assured that the IATF is now finding ways on how the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be able to resume operation while maintaining social distancing and health protocols, as more industries will reopen by Monday.

Roque said that as reported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the resumption of operations of mass transportation in the NCR will be done in phases.

Pasensya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney, pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung papaano magkakaroon ng social distancing sa ating mga jeepney. Bagaman mayroon na po tayong bahagyang pagbukas o pagpayag sa mga pampublikong transportasyon, ang pangunahing guidelines po diyan social distancing,” Roque said.

[I beg the indulgence of our jeepney drivers, but maintaining social distancing inside the jeepneys is still being determined. Although we have already started to open our public transportation, the primary guidelines to be considered in it is social distancing.] —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

DICT warns public vs fake social media pages on SAP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 26, 2020

The Department of Information and Technology (DICT) has warned the public against fake social media pages that spread misinformation on the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

In a post, the DICT advises everyone to only rely on official sources such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Facebook and ReliefAgad pages.

“Fraudsters use fake pages to exploit Filipinos looking for information about the SAP to gain their personal information and possibly for other nefarious purposes,” the DICT said.

The DICT listed the following as unofficial DSWD pages/accounts:

  • 2nd wave social amelioration program (SAP) Private Group
  • DSWD Social Amelioration Program 2020 {IMPLEMENTATIONS, REPORTS & ANOMALY} Public Group
  • SOCIAL AMELIORATION CARD (SAC) 5k-8k Ayuda ng Gobyerno Public Group

The department also encourages the public to report any infringement of cybersecurity incidents.

FB: www.facebook.com/Ncertgovph
Email: cert-ph@dict.gov.ph
Mobile: 09214942917 (Smart)/09561542042 (Globe)
Landline: (02) 8920-0101 local 1708

IATF approves Phl participation in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

Maris Federez   •   May 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Upon the recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the proposed participation of the Philippines in clinical trials that seek to formulate a potential vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Based on IATF Resolution No.39 dated May 22, 2020, the task force has also ordered the creation of a sub-technical working group which will be led by the DOST.

The group will be coordinating with the four collaborating organizations composed of the Department of Health (DOH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) with regard to the said clinical trials.

The IATF has also issued a directive to the FDA to facilitate the processing of necessary permits for the conduct of the clinical trials in the country.

The collaborating organizations for the clinical trials are the Adimmune Corporation, Academia Sinica, Chinese Academy of Science- Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, the Sinopharm – Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, and the Beijing Institute.

Once the clinical trials are undertaken, these will be included in the FDA’s requirements for the registration process for the vaccine and the application for certificate of registration to make the vaccine available in the market.

The Philippines has initially participated in the WHO’s clinical trials, which include the testing of off-label drugs that show potential of being effective against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the IATF has also approved the plans of the DOST to construct research centers for the local vaccine research development.

These include the Virology S&T Institute at the New Clark City in Tarlac and the reactivation of the Pharmaceutical Development Unit of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute. —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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