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ASSIST launches Digital Empowerment Program in Visayas

CEBU CITY – After the successful relaunch in Metro Manila, the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) brings its flagship digital empowerment movement, DigiBayanihan, to Visayas and will hold a regional launch on November 30, Monday, at the Theodore Buttenbruch Hall, University of San Carlos (Main Campus) in the city.

Supported by and multi-stakeholder partnerships, DigiBayanihan aims to provide digital literacy, digitally-enabled literacy and digital citizenship to Filipinos, with special focus on Visayas and Mindanao.

“Digital skills are no longer optional but have become integral in addressing employment issues,” explains Sreeni Narayanan, ASSIST Managing Director.

A World Bank report notes that by 2020, 95% of all jobs will require digital literacy.

“That is why DigiBayanihan’s goal is to democratize education and improve employability,” he adds.




“DigiBayanihan works through a two-step approach, which starts by mobilizing institutional partners engaged in education and job skills training and supporting their digital learning needs,” Narayanan shares. “This initial step is supported by original and locally-adaptable content that will be made available through both online and on-ground channels.”

To kickstart DigiBayanihan, ASSIST is working with the Tech4ED Project of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to provide localized learning modules that will be used in its training centers nationwide. Tech4ED gives communities access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, telehealth, job markets, and business portals.



Addressing Needs

In the recent SWS survey, self-rated poverty declined by 16 percentage points in Luzon, and slipped eight percentage points in Metro Manila. However, the percentage rose by seven points in Visayas, and climbed four percentage points in Mindanao.

This shows that there are more unprivileged sectors in these zones that need assistance and that education and employment are major factors to help solve this problem.

To address that gap, DigiBayanihan has multiple channels to help different levels and kinds of learners.




One such platform is The Career Engine, which is designed to provide soft skills training for near-employment youth and recent graduates of college or technical-vocational education.

The platform features comprehensive and easy-to-understand training videos, downloadable supplementary materials, and self-assessment questionnaires that are purposely designed and available in English, Filipino, and other local languages.

Another channel is the Test Hero. It is an online test preparation portal that seeks to help high school students, regardless of their chosen field, to confidently pass critical tests such as university entrance examinations.

The modules are practical, easy to follow, and developed with insights from the private sector.


Starting Young

Many companies report difficulties in attracting talent with the right skills, even while unemployment is still high.

Narayanan says digital literacy fundamentals have to be set in place, starting in the classroom. “We have to open access to the digital world to prepare the future members of the workforce for technology-enabled jobs. DigiBayanihan is not a one-time initiative. It will grow over time as we reach out to communities and partners. We are putting the content online for the public and we see this as having a multiplier effect in the years to come.”###




About DigiBayanihan


DigiBayanihanstarted in 2014 as a partnership among the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office (now called Department of Information and Communications Technology), Intel Philippines, and ASSIST. Since then, the movement has touched one million Filipino lives with digital literacy and volunteering initiatives.


In 2017, DigiBayanihan was relaunched with the goal of reaching one million Filipino youth across the Philippines. While its focus was on elevating the digital citizenship of the country, the initiative could actively help the population in the Visayas and Mindanao regions become more equipped with digital literacy. It aims to do so by supplementing traditional education with practical skills training to help Filipinos navigate the new tech-enabled work environments.


DigiBayanihan hopes to continue to empower all Filipinos through digital literacy to support the country’s next phase of development, thereby, transforming ordinary citizens into digital heroes, confident with using available digital platforms to support their communities and the country.

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