Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Samar Creates ICT Council

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Provincial Government of Samar, through the Project Monitoring Office and the Provincial Investment and Trade Promotions Office, hosted a Capability Development Workshop for the newly-created Spark Samar Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council last September 3, 2018, in Catbalogan City.

This project was initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in preparation for the implementation of the Rural Impact Sourcing and other ICT programs in the Province of Samar.

This activity aims to bring together and capacitate the province’s key ICT industry players in order to push achieve the government’s goal of making Samar the next ICT hub in the country. The body is composed of representatives from the national and local government, academe and business sector.

Dr. Mario Quijano, Provincial Administrator of Samar, addressing the workshop attendees, emphasized the goal of the province to embrace ICT as a tool to promote economic development, and generate jobs and investments for Samar. With the available talent supply of Samar, and the cooperation of all stakeholders, bolstered by the support of the provincial government, Quijano hopes to see the council help generate jobs within the province.

ICT countryside advocate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, co-founder, past president and current vice president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) served as main resource speaker and facilitator.

Batapa-Sigue highlighted the need for unity to create a digital Philippine countryside powered by Filipino talent with Future of Work skills to push the Philippines among the world’s most future-ready nations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Officers and members of the ICT council include the provincial governor and vice governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Infrastructure and Investment, provincial Sangguniang  Kabataan (SK) Federation President, provincial department heads, representatives from DICT, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), state universities and private colleges, Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, telecommunication companies, electric cooperatives in the area, law enforcement agencies, private sector business and local government units within the province.

Spark Samar started in 2015 as a tourism branding for the province but recently the desire to for innovation and job generation inspired the local stakeholders to bring the branding to the next level.

Batapa-Sigue stressed on the anchor initiative of NICP, now recognized nationally, the creation of ICT councils, an organizational model that brings together movers and key decision makers from the public or government sector (local or national line agencies), academe and human resource, and private or business and industry sector. The aim is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.

NICP was founded in 2008 to serve as a convergence of ICT councils all over the Philippines, representing the stakeholders in their respective geographical locations such as regions, provinces, cities, and municipalities. 

The Search for Startup Champions Search Is Now On!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recognizes that startups will be an integral part of the future economy of the country. Especially technology startups that can bring forth new products and processes that can be used for national development.

The DICT with its twin initiatives of digitalpH and seedPH is now open for nominations for the Startup Champions that will serve to support, sustain and strengthen efforts in spreading its advocacy of startups in communities outside the National Capital Region.

This will be undertaken in partnership with IdeaSpace and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

There will be 25 Startup Champions representing 27 regions of the country and DICT’s eight clusters.

“The Startup Champions will become DICT’s extension in providing assistance, guidance, and support to fledgling startup communities in the provinces. They would be the ones best positioned to reach the startups outside Manila in terms of proximity, and in terms of knowing how to work under the business and ICT conditions that these startups are facing. They will be an important link in fulfilling the Department’s mandate of bringing economic development opportunities to the countryside through ICT,” explains Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Countryside Development Monchito B. Ibrahim.

It should be noted that as of 2017, there are 400 active startups in the Philippines and fewer in comparison with the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors. More active support for startups is needed and that there is a  need to grow up the local startup ecosystem that will be good ground for more startups to be established. This will result in a more diverse number of startups, motivate innovation that will harness local talents, create jobs and further regional development using technology.

The chosen Startup Champions will advise the regions on startup-related activities, help raise the awareness of the seedPH initiatives in their areas and organize local startup communities through meetups and events.

Everyday Problems. 16 Teams. imake.wemake

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Participants in the recently held 2nd imake.wemake competition

The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute’s (DOST-SEI) in with Acer Philippines collaborated in conducting the 2nd imake.wemake competition 16 school teams. This was to give an opportunity among the teams composed of 16 senior high schools in crafting and developing technology-based solutions to issues regarding education, traffic, waste management, and disaster risk reduction and management. 

“It will be a battle among school teams but the real winners here are Filipinos who will benefit from their inventions,” according to DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo. 

The 5-day project development and pitching competition were graced by Director Biyo and Ace Philippines General Manager Manuel Wong at the Microtel UP Technohub in Quezon City. 

Among the inventions featured were low-cost GPS tracking for wildlife conservation, online waste-management integration, and an anti-overloading device.

“Our young inventors proved that they understand the needs of the people and know how they can address such. We’re more than happy to provide them a venue for their technical skills and creativity in imake.wemake,” Biyo said.   

There were 65 proposals submitted and decisions were based on project viability and potential that can address everyday but important societal and community issues. The judging panel was composed of UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute professors Dr. Nestor Tiglao and Engr. Percival Magpantay, Ateneo de Manila University professor Engr. Carlos Matti Oppus, and Acer Philippines Business Development Manager Alexis de Guzman.

The participating schools in the competition are the following:

1. Centro Escolar University-Manila
2. College of St. John – Roxas
3. De La Salle University Integrated School – Laguna
4. Dr. Yanga’s Colleges
5. Grace Christian College
6. Masbate National Comprehensive High School
7. New Era University
8. Philippine Science High School – Cagayan Valley Campus
9. Philippine Science High School – CAR Campus
10. Philippine Science High School – Central Luzon Campus
11. Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus
12. Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus
13. Rizal National Science High School
14. Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School
15. Taguig Science High School
16. Technological Institute of the Philippines Cubao Campus. 

Project building and testing by the teams will be for 3 months. The Final Presentation and Awarding Ceremony will be held this December 2018 with a prize of Php50,000.00 for the top 3 teams. 

Medals Won by PH Physics Team

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Triumphant PH Physics Team

Filipino students won medals at the recently held 49th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in Lisbon Portugal.

This was by far the best performance of any Philippine time in the annual IPhO. A silver medal was won by Steven Reyes from St. Jude Catholic School (SJCS), Mikhail Torio of Philippine Science High School - Main Campus (PSHS-Main) and Charles Bartolo from Science High School-Central Luzon Campus (PSHS-CLC) was awarded a bronze medal each.

The team placed 34th from a field of 87 delegations in the IPhO.  They were congratulated by Dr. Josette Biyo, Director of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).

“The triumph of our IPhO Team is nothing short of remarkable. Our latest S&T HRD Stat Updates reveal that the number of physicists in the country decreased significantly, yet technological advances are fueled by physics-based researches. We hope they will continue their interest in the field and soon pursue a career in physics. I cannot emphasize enough the need for skilled physicists and their innovative application of physics to enable our economy to move forward swiftly,” said Biyo.

The IPhO is an annual competition among teams from secondary schools from around the world. They would compete against each other in a set of individual theoretical and laboratory physics exams.

The problems this year involved the detection of gravitational waves, the ATLAS instrument at the Large Hadron Collider, and the physics of blood flow and tumor growth. As for the theoretical exam it consisted of paper transistors and the experimental exam involved the viscoelastic properties of a polymer thread.

The Philippine team plans to send another delegation to the 2019 IPhO, which will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Joven C. Javier: Filipino Space Engineer

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

One of the Filipino engineers in the development of the Maya – 1 Cube Satellite (CubeSat) has gained another feather in his cap.

Engr. Joven C. Javier has recently completed the Master of Space Engineering International Course in Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology.

Together with Engr. Adrian Salces, Engr Joven Javier Developed Maya – 1 under the Development of Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite program (PHL-Microsat), a research and development project implemented by UPD and the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-Asti).

The country’s first CubeSat weighs only 1 kilo but has several capabilities built into it. The duo used “off the shelf” components in creating Maya – 1. The CubeSat is capable of taking wide range and narrow range images and can be used as a repeater for communications purposes. This can also communicate with ham radio operators in the country.

This is proof that the development of CubeSats can be made in the country in the future. Maya – 1 was developed by Salces and Javier in Kyushu Institute of Technology.

TechBlade conveys its congratulations to Engr. Joven C. Javier. 

Philippine Space Agency to be Established

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Philippines is currently represented in space by the Diwata – 1 microsatellite and the recently deployed Maya – 1 Cube satellite. Diwata – 2 will also be deployed within 2018. These are strides by the country in having a space presence.

To further establish its own space program, legislation has been introduced by Sen. Loren Legarda and Senator Vicente Sotto III. This is known as Senate Bill 1983, or the “Act Establishing the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and Creating the Philippine Space Agency, and for other Purposes.” The Bill was filed this September 2018. 

“Though it took a long time, we are one step closer to establishing our own Philippine Space Agency and our Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy,” said Dr. Rogel Mari Sese, an astrophysicist, and senior Filipino space official.

The Philippine Space Agency can then implement policies that the nation needs for development. Senator Bam Aquino, the sponsor of the proposed legislation said that it can be used in agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management, enhancing telecommunications and information technology systems such as faster internet and in planning Smart Cities and communities.

The utilization of space by technology can further help in the country’s development “by addressing and improving our national security, disaster management, communication, agriculture, environmental monitoring, science, industry, and transportation through the Philippine Space Act,”  Dr. Sese added.

This legislation will formalize the use of space in order to safeguard national territories and sovereignty, as well as “to support and commit to the development, application, and utilization of science and technology that will foster patriotism and nationalism, and accelerate social progress.”

The benefits to national security  is not to be understated since having a national space agency is as “a sovereign right in the promotion of national security toward the attainment and protection of national interest,” and that such an agency will have to create a national space strategy in order “to keep up with other nations in terms of space science and technology,” according to Dr. Sese.

“We hope that after Senator Aquino’s sponsorship of the PhilSA (Philippine Space Act) bill in the Senate plenary, it will be similarly discussed in the plenary of the House of Representatives. We hope our legislators, together with other agencies and the general public, would support and prioritize the passage of this crucial and timely bill,” Dr. Sese added.

Pipol Konek launched in Lipa, Batangas

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
(L-R) DICT Luzon Cluster 2 Director Reynaldo T. Sy, Batangas’ 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr., and Project Manager of the Free Public Wi-Fi, Director Enrico A. Toledo led the ceremonial lighting up of the Pipol Konek to live sites in Lipa City

Inosloban-Maraoay National High School (INHS) in Lipa City, Batangas was the beneficiary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) flagship project Pipol Konek. Pipol Konek provides free Public Wi-Fi service.

INHS was the site of the launch of the 21st Century Learning Environment Model (CLEM) for Lipa City Learners and educators.

This development was due to the efforts of Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto according to t DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto brought together government and NGOs with the aim of bringing Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies to students and teachers in Lipa City.

These CLEM Classrooms are designed for a more enhanced interaction and collaboration between teachers and the students by the use of laptops and a video projector that replaces textbooks and blackboards and chalk. This will enable more efficient and flexible learning methodologies to be utilized.

CLEM Classrooms are modern classrooms designed for enhanced collaboration of learners and educators. With laptops in exchange for traditional notebooks and an interactive projector for the conventional chalk and blackboard, the new learning experience will allow more efficient and flexible learning methodologies.

According to Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones of the Department of Education (DepEd), that the law demands that senior high school students be equipped for the 21st century, thus what Lipa City launched was a direct answer to this mandate.

As a 21st Century classroom, it is important that internet be available to its students, thus Pipol Konek is an integral part of the program. According to Sec. Rio, DICT is continuing to seek partnerships to expand its implementation in other areas nationwide.

 “Meron kaming Memorandum of Agreement ngayon with NEA (National Electrification Administration) na lahat ng schools na in-electrify nila ay lalagyan ng internet na mabilis at mura,” (We have a Memorandum of Agreement with the NEA that the schools they will provide electrical connection for will also be installed with fast and inexpensive internet connectivity) Sec. Rio also stated

Pipol Konek provides Lipa and other municipalities with fast and cheap internet connectivity for schools.

Currently, citizens of Lipa City can access free internet connectivity in the following public places:

1. Bolbok National High School
2. Inosloban National High School
3. Lipa City District Hospital
4. Lipa City Museum and Tourism Council
5. Lipa City National High School
6. Lipa Science High School
7. Plaza Independencia
8. San Celestino National High School
9. Senator Claro M. Recto Memorial School (Lipa City South Central School)

Philippine Startup Challenge 5 Launched!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Usec. Monchito Ibrahim during the launch of PSC5

The 5th Edition of the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC5) has been launched. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) aims to expand the years’ startup challenge with the participation of more schools across the country. This will further promote technology entrepreneurship among the nation’s youth.

With the intention of increasing representation across the regions and provinces of the country, the DICT encourages the participation of more schools which will involve 24 teams in the Semi-Final Round and 10 teams in the Final Round that will come from all over the country. This was launched at the QBO Innovation Hub in Makati City.

“We are excited for this new edition of the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) because it will be more inclusive by giving each of the DICT’s eight (8) clusters the opportunity to field three teams from colleges and universities in their respective areas to the competition and compete in the Finals,” stated Usec. Monchito B. Ibrahim, who heads the Regional Operations, Countryside and ICT Industry Development of the DICT.

A series of Bootcamps will be hosted by the DICT nationwide that will enable college instructors and professors to be the coaches and mentors of their respective teams.

The topics in the Bootcamps will include the technical and business aspects of developing and building tech startups. The college instructors and professors that will participate will be required to attend the Mentors’ Bootcamp that will be held in each of the eight DICT clusters that is a requirement for their startup teams to be eligible in participating in the PSC5.

The semi-finals will consist of the 24 teams and the top 10 teams will then compete in the Finals in Metro Manila.

This year’s PSC5 is supported by the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Huawei Technologies, Ideaspace Foundation, Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE), and QBO, PSC is an initiative under DICT’s SeedPH Digital Startup Development Program which aims to boost the Philippine Startup Ecosystem and spread the economic potentials of digital entrepreneurship.

Interested state or private universities and colleges should contact their respective DICT Provincial Offices or visit or search Facebook “Philippine Startup Challenge” for the contest mechanics and requirements.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Calling on all Students and Instructors: Join YouthCon@Digicon 2018!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, September 24, 2018
Bozoma St. John, one of the most prominent women in tech today will be one of the Headliners in YouthCon@Digicon 2018

The 3rd DigiCon 2018 edition will be a 3-day event and this is promised to be bigger than the previous two DigiCons.

This time it comes with its own component geared towards the youth. This is the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association (IMMAP) YouthCon.

DigiCon 2018 will feature high-powered resource speakers that come from the main conference. YouthCon is a separate track of DigiCon geared towards students. This is the first time that it will be done in its three-year history.

 “We are choosing and scouting for the best students in the Philippines as of the moment. There will be around 300 students across the Philippines who will be doing IMMAP Youthcon,” IMMAP Vice President Perez said.

The Resource Speakers will be led the by the following:

Bozoma St. John, who is one of the current most prominent women in tech will lead DigiCon’s international roster of speakers. St. John’s work has been crucial in the successes of Apple Music and Uber. Previously, she was Head of the Music and Entertainment Group Pepsi Cola North America. She headed it’s 360degree  integrated programs and collaborated with big media brands such as Superbowl, GRAMMY Awards, MTV VMS, and CMA Awards.  Today, she serves as the newly appointed CMO for entertainment conglomerate Endeavor.

Asher Rapkin is also among the headline resource-speakers. Currently, he is Head of Business Marketing, Messaging and Emerging Platforms for social media colossus Facebook.

Before his tech involvement, Asher was in the television industry working in Integrated Marketing for Current TV, NBCUniversal, and MTV.

They will speak before participants of the YouthCon in DigiCon 2018 at the Day 1 Plenary Sessions.

AM Session
9:00 - 9:45 am - DigiCon Opening Ceremony
9:45 - 10:30 am - Keynote Talk by Bozoma St. John (Chief Marketing Officer, Endeavor)
10:31 - 11:00 am - Q&A with Bozoma St. John
11:01 - 11:45 am - Creating a Digital Experience by Asher Rapkin
(Head of Business Marketing, Messaging, and Emerging Platforms, Facebook)

Aside from the YouthCon, Digicon 2018 will include workshops, interactive trade exhibits, and debates. Also, the Start-Up Match-Up where 20 startups will have a speed-dating type activity with potential clients.

DigiCon 2018 will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on October 3-5, 2018. For more information, visit 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Manila to hold first ever Startup Weekend Manila: Women Edition

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Wonder ladies and women of the Manila tech startup community will gather on September 21-23 for the first-ever Women Edition of Startup Weekend Manila at Commune Cafe, Makati City.

Themed “Build Startups in Female Inclusive Environment”, Startup Weekend Manila: Women Edition is a 54-hour programme from Friday night to Sunday morning that brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to transform startup ideas into reality.

But compared to the usual Startup Weekend, the upcoming women edition has an all-women list of judges and mentors. Men are allowed to join, but only female participants are allowed to pitch in front of the judges and to lead teams.

Startup Weekend Manila: Women Edition is part of a series of Techstars Startup Weekends across the Asia-Pacific this September to celebrate women, diversity, and inclusion in local communities.

The initiative aims to address the barriers faced by women in the tech scene including lack of mentors and female role models in the field, gender bias in the workplace, unequal growth opportunities compared to men, and unequal pay for the same skills.

The winning team at the Startup Weekend Manila: Women Edition will qualify to compete in a regional level (in-person) demo day with other winners of the same event from different cities in the Asia Pacific region. The finals and demo day is scheduled for October 20-21, 2018, in Bali, Indonesia.

Aside from Manila, key cities in Visayas and Mindanao – Cebu City and Davao City, respectively, are also organizing Startup Weekend Women.

The event is made possible through the support of Commune Cafe, Developers’ Society, WiTECH, Women Who Code Manila, J.V. Angeles Construction Corp.,, Alfox Printing Services, and Ideaspace Foundation.

If you are interested to join Startup Weekend Manila: Women Edition, you can get your tickets through

For partnerships and sponsorships, email

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