An inter-agency body to improve the digital skills of Filipinos
A senior lawmaker said Monday that a new law mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and local government units (LGUs) to conduct nationwide digital technology and skills mapping to identify available skills and gaps. in ICT infrastructure, platforms and skills.
Camarines Sur Rep. Lray Villafuerte said Republic Act (RA) 11927 or the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act, which he co-authored, became law last July.
Villafuerte said RA 11927 establishes the Inter-Agency Council for the Development and Competitiveness of the Filipino Digital Workforce which aims to “ensure that all Filipino youth, students and workers have access to and receive skills and skills in digital content, platforms and technology that are on par with global standards, and will encourage digital innovations and entrepreneurship.
This inter-agency council will be chaired by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) and will have DOLE as its member agencies; DICT; Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Science and Technology (DOST), Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Education (DepEd); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
Villafuerte said the law provides that with DOLE as the lead agency, and in tandem with DICT, LGUs and other stakeholders, the Interagency Council “will conduct digital technology mapping and digital skills nationally, identifying available skills and abilities, skills gaps and training needs, the demographics of the Filipino workforce in digital technologies and sectors, and the availability and access to digital platforms and ICT infrastructure, among others.
He said the new jobs in which Filipino workers must excel in order to advance in the post-pandemic world are in FIRe fields such as engineering and cloud computing, data and artificial intelligence (AI), web development and management, e-commerce marketing, animation and content creation, online education and tutoring, 3D modeling and graphic design, game and mobile application development, search engine optimization, animation and creation of social media content, branding and public relations (socmed), virtual assistance, transcription and data entry, and online teaching and tutoring.
To ensure the “electronic readiness” of LGUs, Villafuerte said the law directs the DICT, the Departments of Budget and Management (DBM) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and other relevant agencies to ensure ” universal access to broadband”. , quality and affordable Internet by prioritizing and facilitating the development of ICT infrastructure in the localities of the country.
The law requires DILG and DICT to jointly assess the electronic readiness of all municipalities, cities, provinces and regions to ensure a thriving digital workforce ecosystem and to this end calls on the government national government to “give priority to the construction of a digital infrastructure”. infrastructure to foster digital-based economic activity as part of their infrastructure programs or initiatives,” said Villafuerte, who is the majority leader of the bicameral Commission on Nominations (CA) which selects appointees from the President.