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Monday, December 14, 2015

DOST – ICT Office Reveres Partners in Rural Connectivity Project


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The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) paid homage to its partners from the public and private sector who made possible the “TV White Space (TVWS) Supported Fisher folk Registration in the Danajon Reef”, which won the P3 (public-private partnership) Impact Award at the 2015 Concordia Summit, the DOST-ICT Office held a Philippine P3 Awarding Ceremony on December 11, 2015 at their office. Internet connectivity provided by the project not only boosted fisher folk registration but also provided Internet access to schools and public areas in Bohol and delivered essential communications support for the relief efforts after the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The P3 Impact Award is considered a top honor in the arena of public-private partnership development. It was bestowed by the United States Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, the University of Virginia Darden School for Business Institute in Society, and Concordia, and presented via satellite by US Secretary of State, John Kerry. In Kerry’s speech, he stated the importance of giving recognition to model public-private partnerships in order to inspire future public-private partnerships to come.

The P3 Impact Award was received by DOST Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre last October 2, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, The TVWS Supported Fisherfolk Registration project, which aimed to increase fisherfolk registration in six pilot municipalities in Bohol using the technology of TV White Space or unutilized broadcast frequencies, is a joint initiative of DOST-ICTO, the USAID-supported Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) the provincial government of Bohol, Microsoft-Philippines, Nityo Infotech and IXS4All . The project bested more than 50 other applicants, including finalists from Coca-Cola, the Global Development Lab, Dow Chemical, and General Mills, which highlights the exceptional impact that this partnership has made.

It was through this event that the essence of P3’s shone through. In the words of Usec. Casambre, “Public-private partnerships demonstrate what working together can do”. In his speech, he discussed what’s next for public-private partnerships, and here he mentioned how P3’s are a result of not just added, but multiplied efforts; where each sector can bring to the table their strengths and make up for the other’s weakness. Usec. Casambre acknowledged the stark difference in how the government and private companies function and how little they share in common. However, it is when the two bring in their collaborative effort that feats difficult to achieve individually are made possible. He said that the government must look at the private sector as no less than essential partners; likewise with the private sector towards the government. With much hope and enthusiasm for future public-private partnerships, he stated, “When we come together, with a shared common goal, we can do so much.”

Dondi Mapa, Microsoft Philippines’ National Technology Officer shared the same sentiment on the impact of collaborative effort between the public and private sector in achieving a common goal. He highlighted how the project helped transform the lives of the Bohol residents by empowering them with online connectivity. Due to the success of the TV White Space project, nationwide rollouts for the TVWS technology are set in place through initiatives such as DOST-ICTO’s Juan, Konek; another anticipated public-private partnership endeavour.

Further in the program, plaques of recognition were given to partners from ECOFISH, BFAR, the local government of Bohol, Nityo Infotech and Microsoft-Philippines.

Photo Caption:

From Left to Right: Miss Karrie Ilagan, Country Director of Microsoft PH; Deputy Executive Director for eSociety, Miss Bettina Quimson; Mr. Roy del Rosario of Nityo Infotech; Mister Lawrence Ang, Public-Private Partnership Specialist with SSG Advisors under the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries Project of USAID Philippines; Hon. Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, Undersecretary of the DOST-ICTO; Mr. Jeremy Gustafson, Director of the Office of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change USAID Philippines

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