Photo by Hamdan Badrudin/BIO
COTABATO CITY—In light of the rapidly evolving technological landscape, the Bangsamoro Information Communications Technology Office (BICTO) is spearheading efforts to prepare the Bangsamoro region for a digitally-driven future.
During the opening of month-long celebration of Bangsamoro ICT Month on Thursday, June 1, BICTO Executive Director II Jonathan Mantikayan said the Bangsamoro Government is committed to leveraging the power of technology to enhance service delivery, promote inclusivity, and drive regional development.
Aligned with Proclamation No. 1521, Series of 2008, which designates June as the National ICT Month, BICTO is now on its second year of spearheading this campaign in BARMM.
With the theme “ICT: Connecting Communities, Enriching Lives, Forging a Digital Future for the Bangsamoro,” Mantikayan emphasized the crucial importance of readiness in adapting to the transformative power of technology.
“We live in a period of rapid change driven by technology, and ICT sector is the center of this change, so Bangsamoro region must be ready for it,” stated Mantikayan.
Recognizing the central role of the ICT sector in driving change, he said the BARMM Government is committed to equipping the region with the necessary tools and resources to thrive in this era of rapid technological advancements.
Meanwhile, DICT-Mindanao Cluster 3 Regional Director Alimbzar Asum shed light on the challenges faced by the region in achieving digital transformation, particularly in terms of cascading national projects to local and remote communities.
According to Asum, despite the rollout of services by all telecommunications companies in various areas, the region is still left behind due to certain obstacles. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the BARMM is in a position to take action and address this issue.
He emphasized that access to technology can be the deciding factor between economic opportunities and economic isolation.
Asum also urged BARMM leaders to engage with digitally skilled and competent workers and expressed the willingness of DICT to provide assistance in terms of ICT infrastructure.
He expressed support to the region, saying, “We need to have a project that is ‘Connect, Connect, and Connect’ (relating to the Build, Build, Build Project of former Duterte administration) through internet. Magtulungan tayo […] We commit our support,” he said.
Meanwhile, BICTO has announced its comprehensive lineup of activities for Bangsamoro ICT Month 2023:
* June 1: Kick-off Ceremony at SKCC, BGC
* June 5-8: Digital Literacy Training at DICT Cotabato Transformation Center
* June 7: Digital Literacy Training at STI College of Cotabato
* June 7: BTA Offices ISSP Orientation
* June 21-23: Digital Literacy Training at STI College of Cotabato
* June 22: Digital ICT Quiz Bee at People’s Palace
* June 26-27: ICT Research and Innovation Exhibit at People’s Palace
* June 28: Bangsamoro ICT Month Culmination cum 2nd Bangsamoro ICT Summit 2023
The celebration of ICT Month is closely aligned with the enhanced 12-point priority agenda for 2023–2025, focusing on digital infrastructure and e-governance set by the BARMM government.
BICTO remains steadfast in its commitment to keeping the Bangsamoro region up to date with the latest ICT developments and harnessing the power of ICT to drive regional progress and development. (Bai Omairah Yusop/BIO)