Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Answering the call of digitalization

Answering the call of digitalization

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“Digitalization is the call of today; not the call of the future—but of the present. It is here. It is needed, and it is needed today.” These words of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during his 2023 State of the Nation Address couldn’t ring any more true, especially with the state of digitalization in national government institutions.

DOST-STII, Converge, and Pacific Kabelnet Group join forces to amplify DOST content distribution, The groups held a signing event at the head office in Pasig City. 
Present at the event are DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U.Solidum Jr., DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services Ms. Maridon O. Sahagun, DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos, Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy, and PKN CEO Atty. Frank Abalos.
Serving as witnesses to the agreements are Converge Integrated Marketing Senior Manager Vianca Carla Remorozo, Converge Marketing Services Manager Ricardo De Jesus, PKN General Manager Jonathan Ruby, PKN Marketing Manager Adriane Faye San Jose, DOST-STII OIC-CRPD Rodolfo P. De Guzman, and DOST-STII FAD Chief Arlene Centeno.

While much has been said about the need of micro,small, and medium businesses to upgrade their digital facilities, it may very well be that the biggest (and most pressing) beneficiary of digitalization today is the government itself.

“In addition to catering to the needs of the Filipino households and businesses, Converge has always envisioned harnessing our fiber technology in the service of government. We’ve long considered government frontline services as an area badly in need of transformation,” said Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy.

In South Korea, a digital-forward economy, the government took its cue from the private sector in coming up with the ‘Digital Platform Government’. This platform aims at “fundamentally innovating government operations” by utilizing new technologies like AI and cloud computing, among other strategies.

In the Philippines, government bodies are slowly (but surely) realizing their role in leading e-governance projects, especially those that facilitate the delivery of public service.

Converge has been a staunch proponent of ‘e-governance’, helping various government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in realizing their smart initiatives and digital transformation, especially in response to the global pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic in 2021, with distance learning weighing heavily on students shuttered at home, Converge supported the Department of Education’s Public Education Network and enabled learning management systems that carried DepEd TV and DepEd Commons content to supplement the learners’ modules.

In 2022, with the country’s tourism back on the upswing and Filipino travelers’ up-sized needs to connect in the country’s gateways, Converge partnered with the Department of Transportation and airport operators to extend free public wifi services in the passenger terminals of nine international and domestic airports across the country. This project is currently underway.

Converge is helping expand the coverage of DICT’s Free Wifi for All project, and will supply free wifi to 36 municipal sites in Ilocos Sur and Norte and 4 municipal sites in La Union

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the main regulating agency in the industry, gave the green light to Converge this past month to provide free wifi services in various municipalities across Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union. This falls under the ‘Free Wi-fi for All’ program of the DICT.

And just this September, Converge once again offered its fiber broadband in the service of the government as it closed another agreement, this time in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute. This collaboration will make DOST’s TV programs and content accessible on Converge’s free streaming service, as well as affiliate’s PKN Group’s Vision and Fiber TV.

The city government of San Juan launched its smart classrooms in December 2022, with Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte and Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy in attendance. These classrooms are fiber-powered by Converge.

At the local government level, this urgency to go digital is even more urgent as basic public services are devolved to cities and municipalities.

Again, in response to the difficulties of distance learning, Converge fiber-powered the e-learning of 12,000 public school students and teachers in San Juan city in 2021. In partnership with the local government of San Juan and Converge parent company ComClark, a suite of learning tools were made available to students and teachers, all made possible by the fiber connection supplied by Converge.

DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U.Solidum Jr. hails the collaboration with Converge  as expanding access to DOST’s education and information content.

In 2021, as the government strived to meet vaccination goals, Converge powered up LGU vaccination sites and centers; it powered up FilOil Flying V Arena and Theater Mall in Greenhills in San Juan, the City College of Angeles and the Angeles National High School vaccination sites in Angeles, The Philippine Red Cross’ testing site in SM Baguio, and more sites in Laguna and Valenzuela.

During the launch of Converge fiber broadband in Boracay, CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy vowed to boost order and safety in the top tourist destination, promising to build a resilient digital infrastructure to support the island’s surveillance system and command center.

As the government heeds the call of the administration to embrace digitalization, Converge stands ready to support its broader aims of using technology not just to ease doing business in the country but to finally modernize the functioning of government, especially for front-line public services.