Senate to conduct probe on intelligence funds of government agencies

Maris Federez   •   February 5, 2020   •   512

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is set to conduct an investigation on the intelligence funds of several government agencies.

The Senate will be reinstalling an oversight committee to launch the investigation.

This is amid the controversy in the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which was revealed following the resignation of USec. Eliseo Rio.

Rio alleged that there was an irregularity in the use of the agency’s confidential funds.

Senator Panfilo Lacson who will chair the said committee clarified, however, that the investigation is not directly because of the said allegation.

“Si Senator Honasan, I’m sure, he is more than willing to air his side, because these are insinuations and gusto niya ring makita o malaman, ano ba talaga ‘yung puno’t dulo nung mga allegations na ibinabato sa kanya,” Lacson said.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri assured that the hearing will be fair despite being close to the DICT head.

“No one is above the law, alam namin na malapit sa amin si Senator Honasan. What we can do is to fast track the approval of this committee para sa ganoon ay mabigyan po siya ng venue para maisagot ‘yung mga katanungan kung mayroon mang mismanagement of funds,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri added that they would still have to look into the funds of the Office of the President which has the highest intelligence fund in the 2020 national budget amounting to Php 4.5-Billion.

The investigation will also delve into the intelligence funds of the local government units.

The Commission on Audit will also be invited to the hearing.

The Senate targets to have the resolution creating the oversight committee approved by next week. — (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /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

DICT to provide teachers with ICT trainings

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2020

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

DICT eyes converting internet cafes into digital classroom, workplace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 18, 2020

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is planning to convert internet cafes into digital classrooms and workplace amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of the ‘new normal’ in education and work system in the country, the DICT wants to use internet cafes to help students as well as employees who do not have internet connection at home.

“Kokonektahan na muna natin itong mga community para pwede na lakarin ng mga nearby sa community na iyan para makapag-aral at trabaho sila dito sa repurposed internet cafes, (We will install connection in the community so that students and employees can walk to the repurposed internet cafes)” according to DICT Usec. Eliseo Rio.

DICT targets to put up around 3,600 digital classrooms and workplaces across the country. They will also coordinate with local internet service providers (ISP) to improve internet connectivity in the digital classroom and workplace.

The department aims to open digital classrooms before August 24. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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