Friday, July 29, 2016

NICP targets 1M ICT jobs for the Countryside By 2022

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, July 29, 2016

Officials of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) committed to work for at least 1 million direct jobs and 3 million indirect jobs in information and communications technology (ICT) in the countryside by 2022. This number or more translates to approximately half of the ICT industry jobs targeted by the industry under the new administration.

The target as well as the strategies were presented by NICP officers led by president Wilfredo Sa-a, Jr. in their courtesy visit to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima today, July 28.

Sa-a stressed that 70 percent of the ICT industry today is found only in Metro Manila, and the rest are spread throughout the country with concentration in the urban areas. NICP's direction is to help bring more jobs such that half of industry targets are found in the countryside.

Sa-a explains that aside from jobs in the ICT business process management, NICP's thrusts is to create ICT opportunities in tourism, health, agriculture, entrepreneurship and others related sectors.

Salalima expressed appreciation for the programs of NICP in the countryside since its inception in 2008 and assured the commitment of his office to promote inclusive growth.

He assured NICP that the national broadband plan is not "only going to be about infrastructure, but also many things" including human resource, job generation, and growth of the countryside as he believes that the results and the use of the infrastructure is more important.

Former NICP president Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, chair of the annual NICP eGOV Awards presented to Salalima the concept of eGOV which strongly addresses the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25. The President challenged all levels of government from the national level, the local government units down to the barangays to use the computer to hasten government processes for the benefit of the public. The eGOV awards which started in 2012 collates and recognizes all LGU best practices in integrating ICT for delivery of public services and improvement of local business ecosystem.

One aspect which also caught the attention of Salalima was the program in rural impact sourcing (RIS) which creates a lot of ICT jobs in the rural areas. Johny Paul Lagura, former councilor of Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte, and RID advocate shared with Salalima the upcoming Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference which is first of its kind in Davao in December this year.

Salalima committed to support NICP especially its annual summit which is held for the last eight years, and this year in Leyte and Tacloban City in November, the first national ICT event after the occurrence of Typhoon Yolanda. Salalima is expected to present more details of the  National Broadband Plan by that time. Hosting the summit this year is the Eastern Visayas Federation for Information Technology (EVFIT) lead by DOST officials Ed Esperancilla and Glen Ocana.

Also joining the courtesy visit and briefing were former NICP presidents Rosemarie Rey, George Sorio and trustees Willy Tanagon, and Raymund Diaz.

Thought Leader champions online career for Filipinos

Posted By: Zeno Martinez - Friday, July 29, 2016
The 1st Digital Career Bootcamp, to be held on July 30, 2016 at the 48th Floor, UnionBank Plaza, Meralco Avenue corner Onyx Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, paves the way for Filipinos to establish an online career.

With almost 1.5 Million online freelancers earning a decent or even above-average pay, it is no wonder that the so-called 'sideline' avenue of earning an income has now become a mainstream industry and a fast-growing career choice for many.

Contributing to the growth of this industry are the perks and flexibility that it offers. As someone who works for clients abroad, one’s office space can be basically anywhere (home, coffee shop, or even the beach). Online freelancers also have the opportunity to choose who they want to work for and their working hours. They even determine their rates. One can earn from a low of $3 per hour up to $50 or even more.

This digital migration is currently happening. There are those who have BPO experience but want to have more flexibility and increased earning capacity while being their own boss. They  are now switching to this type of digital career. Interestingly, majority of online freelancers are women who have discovered that a huge benefit of having a digital career is the opportunity to earn while at home  taking care of their loved ones. There is no longer a need to go abroad just to earn an above-average income to sustain the family.

Digital Career Coach Genesis Reonico
"I envision this industry growing even bigger, especially with the support of the Government through the various programs that the Department of ICT is implementing all over the country," said Genesis Reonico, a Digital Career Coach and founder of, who has traveled to different parts of the Philippines since 2014. Mr. Reonico has conducted training workshops, delivered talks, and has been championing that "having an online job is an excellent alternative career choice for everyone, anywhere in the country."

The goal of the Digital Career Bootcamp is to bring awareness and provide up-to-date information and inspiration on how to get started finding sustainable work online. Experienced online professionals are on-hand to share their experiences and give a sneak peek into their daily routines as online service providers and help attendees get started with their own digital careers today.

The participants will be given actionable steps that they can follow. They will even be guided further after the event as they become part of an exclusive online mastermind group of online professionals and learners.

As long as a person has the right competencies, skills and understanding about this industry, he or she can have a successful digital career working from home and enjoying the online jobs lifestyle. The 1st Digital Career Bootcamp aims to equip the participants with these and more.

Co-organizer of the event is the newly-formed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) with the project headed by Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim. The DICT firmly believes that online work can help many Filipinos especially those in the rural areas where opportunities are limited.

• To register for the 1st Digital Career Bootcamp, click on

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bbulletin supports 1st Digital Career Bootcamp

Posted By: Zeno Martinez - Thursday, July 28, 2016
 Bbulletinan IT-enabled Bulletin Board and Freemium Community Platform that integrates various Communities like schools, churches, businesses, NGOs, homeowners and condominium associations & barangays, supports the 1st Digital Career Bootcamp by sponsoring ten delegates to the event.

The platform boasts of its Single Sign-up-Join Multiple Communities feature. In simple terms, Bbulletin is
Community Management System which includes updates, promos, events, programs, officials and related information specific to a community, association or any group or organization seeking for a free tool to manage its services to its members. As a "freemium" platform, the use of this app and its basic sign-up features is free-of-charge until the community opts for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.

As a pioneer community online tool in the country, Bbulletin is supporting the 1st Digital Career Bootcamp, a one-day event which aims to provide participants with awareness and up-to-date information on starting an online career through lectures and actionable steps intended for aspiring and experienced work-from-home professionals.
The 1st Digital Career Bootcamp will be held on July 30, 2016 at the 48th Floor, UnionBank Plaza, Meralco Avenue corner Onyx Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

This event is the brainchild of Genesis Reonico, a Digital Career Coach and founder of who has been to different parts of the Philippines since 2014 conducting training workshops, delivering talks, and championing the belief that having an Online Job is a good alternative career choice for everyone, anywhere in the country.

Together as the co-organizer of the event is the newly formed Department of ICT (former DOST-ICT Office) headed by Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim. The DICT firmly believes that online work can help many Filipinos especially those in the rural areas where there are limited number of opportunities available.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Almost There: DICT Transition Proceeding

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

By Eden Estopace (Philippine Star)
The long wait for the Philippines’ new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) isn’t over.

The DICT Act of 2015, also known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10844, officially took effect last Thursday, ushering in a new era of governance that is hopefully more focused on ICT as a tool for national development.

The law, however, provides for a six-month transition for the full transfer of the functions of existing government agencies involved in ICT development.

The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO), which has served as the lead implementing agency of the government in ICT matters since its creation in 2011, has been abolished along with other government agencies with ICT functions.

At the opening of the Innovative Strategies for Development Summit (ISDS) 2016, a three-day international conference on digital strategies for development hosted by the agency last week, executive director Louis Napoleon Casambre read a prepared statement acknowledging that it would take a much larger mandate for the Philippines to start playing catch-up in the vast global ICT arena.

“With ICT now having the authority at the department level, the country’s push to catch up will be much stronger,” Casambre said. “Finally, we will have the focus to drive our ICT agenda as a key player for national development.

By catching up, Casambre may be referring to the state of the nation vis-a-vis the rest of the world in using ICT for inclusive growth.

While Metro Manila, for example, is drowning in enormous problems brought about by severe infrastructure shortage - congestion, massive traffic jams, perennial flooding, and high crime rate - the rest of the world has long started the journey toward developing smart cities, or masterplanned communities that integrate ICT solutions in the urban development framework.

These are cities that work with clockwork precision, powered by ubiquitous high-speed broadband, and feature, among others, smart transportation, high-tech healthcare services, high-quality digital education for the youth, and automated government services for all – things a Filipino can now only dream of in the next life.

In its five-year run, the DOST-ICTO and its partners have sought to bring technology to governance and strengthen industries through ICT. It has also tried to narrow the ever-widening divide between those who have access to technology no matter how limited and to those who have none at all.

“Some of these programs include the Juan, Konek! Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project, which seeks to provide free Internet access to almost all municipalities in the Philippines; Tech4ED, which builds digital literacy and ICT capabilities; and Rural Impact Sourcing, a program that enables people from the countryside to use their ICT skills to the fullest without having to go to urban areas,” Casambre summarized.

These efforts, however, need to be scaled up by the next administration to the level that could make a huge difference in the country’s economy and would allow us to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital age.

Opportunities for the digital economy

In February this year, management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and Asian telecommunications company Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) released a report showing that the growth of the digital economy could add $1 trillion to the GDP of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) bloc over the next 10 years.

“When it comes to market size and growth opportunities, there are few economic regions that can match ASEAN’s potential, especially when it comes to the digital economy. More than half of the bloc’s population is aged 30 or below. This is the consumer group which is most likely to contribute to the digital economy as they are most tech-savvy,” said Naveen Menon, partner and Asia-Pacific head of communications, media & technology practice at A.T. Kearney and one of the authors of the report, in a statement.

“The confluence of technology innovation, a youthful population, and robust economies can help ASEAN leapfrog into the vanguard of the digital economy,” he added.
As one of the more strategically situated countries in the ASEAN, the Philippines should be able to take advantage of this vast opportunity.

To meet this growth potential, the report recommended addressing important issues at the country level such as developing a comprehensive digital strategy, improving broadband and Internet access, accelerating innovation in mobile financial services, creating “smart” cities that harness the power of technology to empower businesses and consumers, and fostering a culture of digital innovation by revamping the K-12 and higher education system.

As the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the executive branch of government that will develop the national ICT agenda, much lies in the hands of the newly-formed DICT.

Casambre also emphasized in a plenary session at ISDS 2016 that ICT cuts across all the 17 sustainable development goals identified by the United Nations, including putting an end to poverty and hunger, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, development work and economic growth, and good health and well-being, to name only a few.

Brahima Sanou, director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), emphasized in his keynote address at the summit that there is a need for a shift from a vertical, siloed approach to policy making to collaborative regulation.

“First, a lot of our problems stem from our antiquated laws. Second is the fact that only 17 percent of our schools are in areas with internet access. We are leaving behind 83 percent,” he said, adding that the wish list could actually be long.

DOST-ICTO deputy executive director for eSociety Bettina Quimson added that the important thing now is the crafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations.

“We need to make sure that the structures are correct moving forward because right now we don’t have the people nor the actual capacity for all the things we need to do properly in the countryside,” she said. “We should have more regional offices and make sure that we have the budget to ascertain that all the programs we have can be done properly.”


Dagupan ICT Potential Gets A Boost

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Dagupan ICT Potential Gets A Boost 

By. JB Sigue

Dagupan, from the word "nandarugapan" or a place where people meet, the trading center of Northern Luzon, now gets a boost as it joins the ranks of information and communications technology (ICT) hubs in the country.

Compos Mentis President Jonathan De Luzurriaga formally turned over a printed copy of the Dagupan City ICT-BPM Roadmap to Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez and Wilson Manalo, vice president of the Dagupan ICT Council, last Friday, July 22, in the presence of all the local stakeholders.

De Luzurriaga, who is also currently the president of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) led stakeholders in a comprehensive study of Dagupan's potential, strengths, areas for improvement and corresponding relative to its goal to generate ICT-enabled jobs and investments.

Early this year, Dagupan emerged as one of Top 10 Next Wave Cities in ICT-BP! in the Philippines as ranked by the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and the ICT Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology, which is not currently a separate department, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Fernandez, presenting the vision of the city, assured everyone that Dagupan will worked immediately on addressing the concerns and implementing the strategies found in the roadmap, especially on the aspect of creating a information technology (IT) zone, and support facilities, developing talent, and ensuring full government support to the Dagupan ICT Council.

She called on all sectors to support the roadmap, and encourage them to "re-write" the history of Dagupan, by not only being the Bangus (milkfish) Capital of the Philippines but also an ICT-BPM Hub of Luzon.

De Luzuriaga says, "it is time for Dagupan to engage in the exciting progressive ICT industry and replicate the success they have experienced in other industries such as trade and aquaculture.”

The launching was marked by a series of industry talks attended by about 1,300 students from Dagupan and neighboring towns and cities in Pangasinan.

National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) former president and current trustee Jocelle Batapa-Sigue spoke about the need to create jobs in the countryside in order to uplift the economic condition of communities outside of Metro Manila.

Other speakers who talked about the nature, talent requirement and opportunities in their respective industries include Katheryne Gutierrez of the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP), Miguel Del Rosario and Joie Cruz, President and Deputy Executive Director, respectively, of the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), Alvin Juban, President of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP), and Nathalie Hunter, Executive Director of PSIA. /BNEFIT

Monday, July 25, 2016

Change via innovation and entrepreneurship

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, July 25, 2016


Change via innovation and entrepreneurship
By. Dr. Jikyeong Kang

“INCLUSIVE GROWTH” has been one of the latest buzzwords in various circles of Philippine society. This is mentioned specifically in the context of acknowledging both the economic gains made in the past few years and the work that remains to be done for a larger percentage of the population to feel the impacts of such growth.

Clearly, the goal of inclusive growth should not be seen as the mandate of government alone.  Indeed government must bridge the gap to address the needs of the poor, but it would take the combined effort of other sectors in society for economic gains to dramatically impact the bottom of the pyramid.

It is also important to note that the Philippines’ economic growth has been largely consumer-driven. Tech luminary Dado Banatao, in his keynote speech at the launch of the AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator, alluded to the need to shift from a consumer-driven to a creator economy. He pointed out that innovation and entrepreneurship are the new foundations for economic development and the means to open up opportunities for a wider cross-section of society.

Banatao added that growth rests primarily on the private sector’s ability to innovate and invest, as well as to create a generation of entrepreneurs who can respond to both local and global needs.
Attaining the dream of inclusive growth means that the private sector cannot simply function on a “business as usual” mode. As the Apec Business Advisory Council put forth in 2015, new models for more inclusive businesses must be explored and developed. These should lead to more people being engaged and provided with opportunities to move up the value chains.

A new mindset. A country such as the Philippines should be able to have the mindset of building ecosystems around sectors that can deliver on inclusive growth. Building ecosystems naturally start by taking a serious look at the challenges faced by SMEs (small and medium enterprises) today, such as resilience, equal opportunities for women, access to finance, and capacity-building.

Furthermore, beyond addressing immediate challenges, a long-term view must be taken in building such ecosystems. For example, the Philippines has already taken the first step with the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and financial literacy in all levels of education.

This offers a potentially solid foundation that must be further complemented by a gamut of activities to build a robust innovation ecosystem. These include strong and consistent broadband service, university research and development, enhanced science and technology programs in schools, a rigorous intellectual property regime, the presence of incubators, and private sector venture capital.

The role of the academe.The interconnectedness of government, the private sector and the academe becomes more pronounced with the recognition of innovation and entrepreneurship as the drivers of growth and development.

Greater linkages must be formed among all three sectors in order to ensure that graduates are adequately equipped with the skills and capacities that industry demands. More importantly, they must jointly identify and prepare for future competencies that will be required of the talent pool and prioritize societal concerns that laboratories and incubators could focus efforts on—all with the goal of significantly empowering communities.

Collaboration can come in multiple forms, from the provision of resource persons and training programs to the cocreation of joint initiatives, as is the case with the AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator, a collaboration between the Asian Institute of Management and Dado Banatao’s PhilDev Foundation. Addressing current realities and looking ahead at future competencies are also the drivers for AIM’s introduction of a new program devoted to young STEAM (science, technology, engineering, architecture, agriculture, medicine) graduates and professionals, the Master of Science in Innovation and Business, and a relaunch of the Master in Entrepreneurship program.

Education is key. Realizing the promise of inclusive growth entails a commitment to develop leaders who can think big and clearly on what it takes to engage more people and lift them out of poverty. This commitment entails providing more opportunities for small players to grow and generate their own impact.

Growth and development must be founded on a functioning government that provides basic services and protects its people; a vibrant private sector that provides opportunities for individuals and communities; and an evolving academe that not only responds to the current and future needs of society, but also instills in young people the belief and inspiration that they hold the key to realizing our shared aspirations.

Dr. Jikyeong Kang is president and dean of the Asian Institute of Management. For more information on AIM’s programs, please visit:


Saturday, July 23, 2016

How To Look For Your Marketing Co-Founder

Posted By: Tech Support - Saturday, July 23, 2016
It is interesting to observe the stages of where the Philippine Startup community is at.  A few years back, everyone was excited to start something.  This is not to say that people are not excited to start something at this time.  It's just that way back then, everyone was into ideation.  In the heirarchy of characters in the enterprise there are visionaries, leaders, managers, and the 'soldiers'. The active participants back then were the visionaries.

Then came the stage wherein the founders' vision was laid out and the startup had to be given flesh.  Minimum Viable Product or MVP was the goal at the quickest possible time.  Thus the urgent need to partner with a good Chief Technology Officer.  Those who were good at coding and building the product, the inherent tech guys, did not have a problem with this.  They just simply built their product the best way they could.

Fast forward to today, with thousands of apps and platforms built, the natural hurdle is taking the entire idea of the startup to the market.  Three to four years after all the fanfare first took place about tech startups, the fledgling tech enterprises are now beginning to realize the real role that marketing plays in the operation.

With investors showing some signs of impatience with the young leaders who pitched the fantastic idea to build the next "Uber of something", the startup founder now realizes that an emphasis on a Marketing Guy should have been given as much emphasis as the Chief Technical Officer.  Note that I have not referred to a title of Chief Marketing Officer.  Real marketing guys know a marketing job that needs to get done without having to embellish themselves with such a title (Sorry, I'm quite old school and I'm only used to VP for Marketing).

As a person who comes from the mainstream advertising, there is an old saying that goes, "Selling a product without advertising is just like sending smoke signals at night.  You know what you're doing, but no one else does".  I think this encapsulates what a lot of startups are doing.

Yes, it is good to develop your product with all the bells and whistles, but remember not to overspend both time and finances on that.  You'll need to take it to the market.  This is where the marketing guy comes in.  If he is a co-founder, he will be the one to temper the executive team with the realities of budget and timelines to take your product to the public.

What To Look For In A Marketing Co-Founder

In the same way that there are varying levels of proficiency among CTOs, so it is on the marketing side.  There are levels of proficiency in terms of handling the marketing efforts of a startup.  Offhand, here is a basic checklist of what you need to look for in your marketing person:

  •     Thorough knowledge of marketing principles, brand,
    and service management
  •     Superb analytical skills
  •     Demonstrated ability to lead and inspire a team
  •     Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  •     Flexibility
  •     Passionate customer advocacy
  •     Well rounded knowledge of media and audience contact
  •     Deep understanding of changing market dynamics
  •     Entrepreneurial spirit

If you are a startup founder, a lot of these have to be in you as well.  Some though can rest heavily on your Marketing Co-founder.  His or her responsibilities will have to include overseeing the planning, development and execution of the startup's marketing and advertising initiatives. Reporting directly to the rest of the executive team, the primary responsibility is to generate revenue by increasing sales through successful marketing for the entire organization, using market research, pricing, product marketing, marketing communications, advertising and public relations.

Where to look

In the same way that the startup ecosystem is huge and can be narrowed down to alleys of FinTech, HealthTech, IoT, Media, Games, etcetera, so is the world of advertising and marketing.  You can't just pull in anyone to be your marketing co-founder just because he has a "marketing background".  Even someone in MLM and Network Marketing has a "marketing background".

Just because someone came from an ad agency does not mean they came from one that has a defined method of creating the marketing plan.  There are people who come from graphic design studios and there are those who come from boutique agencies.  There are those who come from creative agencies and those who come from media agencies.

It is nice to have someone from the creative agency.  Creativity is cool.  However, if the order of the day for CTOs are the MVP, the equivalent delivery of the marketing co-founder is traction.  Creativity is not a main multipier in creating traction.  This is where the guy from the media agency comes in. 

The guys from the media agency have a different discipline.  Their emphasis is on a valid and relevant contact point for the message to be delivered rather than the message itself.  Channels not content.  In comparison to the guys in creative, they are the less flamboyant and can be perceived as boring for they are the number crunchers.  The ones who deal with statistics and ratings.  They are the ones who dealt with consumer behavior, media consumption habits, and demographic profiling long before the startup revolution gave birth to a fancy word called "Big Data".  Charts and graphs are really their domain.

Adept knowledge of the media landscape and media consumption habits could spell the difference between saving or wasting your investor's money.  Simply put, a marketing guy with a level head about all media because in the final analysis, your marketing budget may be split 3:1 or even 4:1 in favor of media costs versus production/creatives.

With these kinds of skill sets, it would be wise to look for them among those who work (or used to work) for media agencies, brands and product management, or even media research companies.

The writer, Lloyd Tronco, is from Negros Island, the Sweet Spot of the Philippines.  The principles he uses in Digital Marketing and Tech Startups, were learned in the sugarcane fields of Negros.  He is the COO of and does consulting for startups in the area of marketing.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Filipino Students Win Gold in International Math Olympiad

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, July 22, 2016

After 30 years of participation, 2 Filipino students brought home gold medals from the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) that was held last July 6 – 16, 2016.

Kyle Patrick Dulay of Philippine Science High School (PSHS) scored 29 and Farrel Eldrian Wu of Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy scored 30 during the 57th IMO. They emerged victorious among 600 math Olympians from 100 participating countries. 

As if two gold medals were not enough, Clyde Wesley Ang (Chiang Kai Shek College) and Albert John Patupat (De La Salle University Integrated School) won each a silver medal. Ang  scored of 24 while Patupat garnered 23 points.

Honorable Mention awards were given to Vince Jan Torres (Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School) and Shaquille Wyan Que (Grace Christian College).

“This brought us closer to Southeast Asian powerhouses like Thailand (#12) and Vietnam (#11), and ranked us higher than usually strong countries like Bulgaria (#18), Germany (#19) and Romania (#20). This is the best finish of the country since it first participated in 1988,”  as per the team heads posted in  Facebookt.

The United States topped the IMO, followed by South Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Richard Eden of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) was the team leader with other mathematics professors from ADMU and the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman. Louie John Vallejo of UP  as the Deputy Team Leader.

IMO participants solved complex math problems covering geometry, algebra (polynomials, inequalities and functional equations), number theory and combinatorics.

“The 6 problems appearing at the IMO are certainly very difficult that even the easiest of these is several times harder than the math problems that are usually encountered by high school students,” the team leaders wrote in the Facebook.

Source: Readings from :

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DNA fingerprinting applied in production of rubber planting materials

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, July 21, 2016

DNA fingerprinting applied in production of rubber planting materials

Written by Ricardo R. Argana, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service

It was in September 1984 when a geneticist by the name of Dr. Alec Jeffreys invented the technique of genetic fingerprinting. Briefly explained, the technology shows that a genetic fingerprint is specific to each individual and the pattern does not belong to any other person on earth except for identical twins.

Who would have foreseen that three decades later DNA fingerprinting would be adopted for many other organisms including plants? 

Applying the DNA fingerprinting technology, in an effort to make rubber a key contributor to Philippine economic development, researchers from the University of Southern Mindanao USM) conducted a study to prove the varietal integrity of the country’s promising rubber clones through DNA fingerprinting.

The Los Baños-based Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the study.    

Titled, Validation of Varietal Integrity of Promising Rubber Clones through DNA Fingerprinting, the study led by Dr. Emma K. Sales of USM seeks to assure farmers that the planting materials they are using are genuine and can enhance crop productivity.

With the project, Mindanao is expected to contribute largely towards achieving a 60% increase in rubber production in 2020.

Guided by this goal, the project aims to address the problem on large areas with senile rubber trees and over-exploitation of existing plantations, which will inevitably halt productivity.

More importantly, the project is expected to ascertain the quality and integrity of planting materials produced and sold by clonal gardens and nurseries.

Ensuring varietal integrity requires accurate labelling and systematic recording, safekeeping, and tagging of each clone. This process is facilitated by the use of a biotechnology tool known as molecular markers.

Molecular markers or genetic markers are used in molecular biology and biotechnology to identify a particular sequence of DNA in a pool of unknown DNA.

Clone tagging under the project has verified and validated the identity of clones from 181 rubber commercial nurseries from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The project Validation of Varietal Integrity of Promising Rubber Clones through DNA Fingerprinting is one of the finalists in the research category of the National Symposium on Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD).

To be held on July 27, 2016 at the DOST-PCAARRD Complex in Los Baños, Laguna, NSAARRD will serve as one of the highlights of the celebration of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).       

Initiated by DOST-PCAARRD, NSAARRD recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions in improving the state of agri-aqua research and development in the country.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

DICT Pilots GAD Forum in Bacolod

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Bacolod barangay officials and GAD focals with resource speakers Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and Arnel Sigue and DICT Visayas Cluster 1 Director Frederick Amores.
 The Visayas Cluster 1 of the newly-created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) held its first set of gender and development (GAD) training in Bacolod City on July 18 and 19, 2016.

Lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, ICT and GAD advocate and former Bacolod city councilor served as resource speaker on Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act and discussed Republic Act No. 10627 or the Ant-Bullying Act of 2013 with emphasis on Cyber-Bullying.

Former associate prosecutor and executive director the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Bacolod lawyer Arnel Sigue gave a lecture on Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons of 2003 and Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded TIP Law and Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography of 2009 with emphasis on Cybersex and Child Online Pornography.

Educational supervisors and teachers from various town and cities in Negros Occidental and from Bacolod  with resource speake Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and DICT Visayas Cluster 1 Director Frederick Amores
The first day was attended by barangay officials in Bacolod and the second day by teachers and supervisors coming from all the divisions of the Department of Education in Bacolod and Negros Occidental.

The DICT was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 10844 which took effect on June 9, 2016.

DICT Visayas Cluster head Frederick Amores said the same workshop will be also held in Siquijor, Capiz, Aklan and Iloilo in the coming months.

During the workshop, an over-whelming suggestion of the participants was for continuous training and capacity development activities for barangay officials and members of the academe on cybercrimes since these are contained in new laws.

Monday, July 18, 2016

10 local startups acquire IdeaSpace Foundation funding grants

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, July 18, 2016

IdeaASpace Foundation, the incubator and accelerator unit of PLDT group has granted 1 million pesos in equity-free financing to 10 local startups. This is the first batch of startups that received the financing from IdeaSpace since the competition was established 4 years ago. 

The 10 winner are the following:

1.    Populi – Social media and news online is aggregated into big data. This is for the use of politicians.

2.    Taxumo – A tax app aimed at SMEs  professionals, freelancers and corporations with their taxes

3.    E.A.R.S. – a wearable device for the deaf/hearing-impaired that provides an early warning, detection, reaction device protecting users while outdoors from accidents, collisions, threats;

4.    Cropital – a crowdfunding platform to help finance farmers;

5.    Cleaning lady – a mobile app providing cleaning services targeted at condominium owners;

6.    Tralulu – a digital platform that connects travelers and local guides by allowing travellers to book guides and customize their itineraries with them.

7.    Banyera – an online marketplace for wholesale farmed fish products;

8.    Invested – a microfinancing platform for student loans;

9.    Investagrams – website and app that provide education, analytic tools and information, in the stock market;

10.    Tarkie – field employee tracking and productivity tool; and

“Because we announced that we will not be taking equity, more teams with value came to the competition,” Eustaquio said. “Our promise is we want to be a feeder to the industry to be able to provide angel investors and companies assurance that teams that graduate in the program are really investible teams.”, said IdeaSpace exec. Director Diane Eustaquio.

Eustaquio added she is confident of the foundation’s sustainability beyond the initial seed funding it received from its principals. IdeaSpace was initially bankrolled by a P500 million five-year commitment from the PLDT group.

Exec. Director Eustaquio is confident that the foundation’s sustainability even beyond its initial P500 million commitment from the PLDT Group.

“Because we are not taking equity now and we are not going to take follow-on investment, we have a lot more money for quite a number of years. We are also finding ways to improve our operations so that we can last a long time,” Eustaquio disclosed

Also, the quality of entries has been observed to have improved from the initial entries four years ago. The customer centric startups have now begun to mature in a sense that the startups are now addressing customer pain points..

Source: Readings from

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sisters Dominate Fil-Am Essay Writing Contest in Chicago

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, July 14, 2016
Florence Almeda
The Almeda Family in Chicago, USA can take pride since two of its children have won first place in the Philippine Independence Week Committee’s (PIWC) essay writing contests held in the years 2014 and 2016.

Given the topic of “advantages and disadvantages of using email” in this year’s PIWC Essay Writing Contest of which 12 students participated.

Florence Almeda, currently a sophomore in the University of Chicago Laboratory School argued on the “cons” of email and won first prize.

“In order to truly enjoy relationships and build lifelong connections, we must take a moment to step back, sign out of our emails, close our computer screens, and open our hearts to others around us.” Almeda wrote.

Almeda cited that in contrast to the days when her parents corresponded in school and at work, the dynamics of society has changed a lot.

“For many people of my age, it’s hard to believe that our parents did not grow up with the same type of technology. I would estimate that there has not been one day this entire year that I have not checked my email.” she said.

In fact, when she was given typing lessons in 3rd grade she hated it Florence related.

Acknowledging that using email is just technology and it is not good enough in interacting with her peers since it lacks the “personal touch”.  “The increased use of technology, including email, has served to raise a generation of youths that are prone to insensitivity and resistance to face-to-face interactions….” This could even lead to be unfeeling and rude when communication with people and somehow enables them to be irresponsible in facing the consequences of their actions when conveying messages.

The top five essayists received a cash prize on June 18 during the PIWC Gala at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel. The third, fourth and fifth place winners, respectively were Reijhay Vargas, an 8th grader at Lincoln Jr. High School, Benjamin Lortie, a freshman at Streamwood High school, and Nichol Rivas, a 7th grader at Joseph E. Gary Elementary School.

The cash prizes ranged from $250 to $50 and were presented to the essayists.

The essays were inspirational according to Jo Wee Sit, judge and chair of the PIEC Essay Writing contest.

In 214, it was Florence’s sister Francine who won the essay writing contest with the topic of “living the American Dream”.

Source: Readings from:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Philippine DICT: PH's Trump Card to Becoming the Next Asian Cyber Power

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On May 20, 2016, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was created by virtue of Republic Act 10844. It aims to rationalize and streamline national policy and implementation of projects and programs with regards to universal access to quality, affordable, reliable ICT services. Also, “ensure the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.”

Thus, the DICT will be a wholly new line department that will address the above-mentioned concerns and activities of the national government. Inasmuch as there is a 6 month transition period, the DICT shall have a cabinet level Secretary, 3 Undersecretaries and 4 Assistant Secretaries that will lead the department into the 21st century.

The importance of the DICT cannot be understated since the world economy is almost wholly reliant in the transfer of information and communications. This also underlines the need for a department that will be fully responsible in implementing and developing programs and projects for a national information and communications technology infrastructure that will help fuel the economic, educational and social development of the country.

The establishment of the DICT is a chance for this government to start with a clean slate (tabula rasa) so that it will be able to synergize public and private expertise in the country. These “experts” in the field  will then be able to develop and implement new practices and adopt the best practices to be found here in the country and abroad. This must be done in order that the DICT will be off to a good start and begin in the right direction in such a crucial part of the Philippine economy.

By virtue of harnessing the country’s best and the brightest for the DICT, the new agency must also be inclusive in its effort in national development. All available talents must be included in its staffing patterns and most of all, its leadership.

By inclusivity, it means that it is not only “Manila Centric” but must also be cognizant of those outside Manila who have contributed immensely to the development of the ICT industry outside of Manila. Those who have been instrumental in the rise of the ICT industry because the talents and resources of the entire country, particularly in the regions outside Manila have tapped, harnessed and successfully form an integral part of the country’s ICT industry today.

TechBlade in its own way is also cognizant how crucial the DICT is in the economic well-being of the country and recognizes one of the pillars of the regional ICT industry and is also aware of the developments in the ICT industry in the countryside as evidenced by a number of articles already published by it online.

This publication has been covering these developments and recognizes the contributions of Atty Jocelle Batapa-Sigue in the ICT industry. Her involvements are not only technical in nature but also manages to harmonize the confluence of government, private and even local sectors so as to drive further development of the ICT industry. It also includes infrastructure development and manpower resource development.

The advocacy of Atty. Jocele Batapa-Sigue dovetails into the factors needed for further enhancing and improving the regional ICT industry. There are factors that must be looked into with regards to the participation of the regions in national ICT development and these have been her advocacies since 2004. These are the following:

1.    Vast experience in countryside ICT development

Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was the co-founder, former chair, and sitting trustee of a nationwide organization of more than 45 ICT councils -the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

With this attribute – she would be able to effectively link the DICT to all local stakeholders, engage them in collaborative ways to develop strategies to realize inclusive growth and to ensure that DICT will become a very dynamic and far-reaching department of the Duterte administration.

2.    Consultative, Collaborative, Strategic Management and Policy Development

With this attribute – she would be able to effectively link the DICT to all public and private sector stakeholders, academe and industry and engage them in collaborative ways to ensure the joint mandate of DICT with various government agencies as embodied in Republic Act No. 10844 are effectively realized and to ensure that DICT will become a real catalyst of change pursuant to the direction of the Duterte administration.

3.    Extensive Exposure to Government Procedures and Public Sector Services

With this attribute – she would be able to effectively manage, oversee and implement government processes and projects in collaboration with all stakeholdersas mandated in Republic Act No. 10844 and to ensure that DICT will become a champion for inter-operability and eGovernance.

4.    Exemplary Communications and Public Relations Skills

With this attribute – she would be able to effectively assist the Secretary of the DICT in bringing the Department closer to the stakeholders and to the public by develop strategic communication plans to inform them of performance of the Department pursuant to Republic Act No. 10844, making the DICT the most innovative department where citizens are able to participate.

5.    Proven Dynamic and Dedicated Commitment to Public Service, Inclusivity and ICT Development Industry

With this attribute – she will be an asset to the DICT in driving innovation and inspiring Filipinos to embrace innovation and demand for more efficient, streamlined, fast and responsive services from the government and other service-delivery points such as the academe and the business sector. The DICT will prove that it is a Department for those who truly deserve to serve because its officials’ their track-record speaks of service and dedication to the country.

Most importantly, Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue's contribution is enabling the countryside to contribute vigorously to the efforts in harnessing the capacity and talents of the regions outside Manila with regards to the ICT industry. The regions will supplement and complement the current ICT industry and create an impetus in regional development.

Thus, TechBlade recognizes the abilities, commitment and competency of Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue. A Champion of the Regional ICT Industry.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Filipino Astronomer. From the Philippines to Jupiter!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, July 08, 2016

Filipino, Christopher Go first observed the skies using 10X40 binoculars when he was in high school. Having graduated from the University of San Carlos with a degree in Physics, Go then pursued his dreams of becoming an astronomer.

Last July 4, history in astronomy was made when NASA’s Juno spacecraft investigated the planet Jupiter. This will lead to a better understanding of our solar system.

Go is part of a team of  scientists, 13 planetary scientists and 6 amateur astronomers who lent support for the Juno mission.

The Juno spacecraft was launched last August 5, 2011 and reached Jupiter last July 4, 2016. Its aim was to better understand the state and evolution of Jupiter’s atmosphere.

The Cebuano Christopher Go has been imaging Jupiter for more than 10 years and was tapped by NASA to be one of the support scientists.

"I’ve been imaging Jupiter since 2004 and have worked for many years to develop collaborations between amateur and professional astronomers.  Amateurs have the advantage in that they don’t have to apply for telescope time, and the equipment now available means that we can make very high-quality observations," Go disclosed. "I am delighted that the amateur community has been invited to collaborate on Juno and excited at the opportunity to make an important contribution to the mission." he added.

His first major discovery was Red Spot Jr. wherein he observed the planet’s Oval Ba white turn red.

Go was accepted into the American Astronomical Society and its Division for Planetary Sciences after the discovery.

 It was in June 2010 when together with astronomer Anthony Wesley that they were able to capture an image of a fireball exploding on the surface of the planet Jupiter.

"This is where amateurs fill the gap, this is how we basically contribute to the science of astronomy," Go said in a feature by telescope manufacturing company Celestron, "It might just be an image, but that image is a useful data that professional astronomers need to basically understand the universe."


Friday, July 1, 2016

DOST Aims 93% WiFi Coverage for the Country

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, July 01, 2016

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) has targeted that by the end of the year 2016, 93% of the country will have free WiFi coverage. The ICTO that will evolve into the just established Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will implement the  project.

According to DOST Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre,  "'Yung remaining 7 percent, 'yan 'yung mahirap pasukin like 'yung Turtle Island, but we will look for other solutions for them,"

Currently, free WiFi services are already existing in Metro Manila such as the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, the Philippine Coconut Authority, Social Security System office, Land Transportation Office, and at the Rizal Park in Manila.

The ICTO has requested for a budget of Php3.2 billion for its implementation of the public WiFi in 2017.

The 2 dominant telcos, Globe and Smart supports the project in which a data cap of 50MB will be provided to an estimated 117,000 who will avail of the service. Globe has recently opened free WiFi services to MRT station platforms.

This project also raises the possibility of WiFi access in schools and educational institutions that will boost the educational programs not only of public education but also in private educational institutions as well.

Casambre disclosed that all distributors are welcome to participate in the project. This will also result in telecom products to be available with affordability and quality in mind for those who use the project. 

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