Bangui Is In The Heart…

Antonio Padre

Uncle Joe,

I may not be able to realize our dream of  moving to Canada in the near future. My office offered me a scholarship to which I cannot say no. My initial impulse was to back out of it as it affects my “plan” but our assistant secretary asked me to stay for a while with the office. I accepted the scholarship because its aim is very important to the government (although its problems seem insurmountable, at least we are moving in the right direction).

As I have mentioned in an earlier email, our office has also tapped me to conduct computer literacy trainings for teachers (as part of DepEd computerization program). My assignment is Northern Luzon. I accepted this additional responsibility because I shall have the opportunity to share whatever knowledge I have gained with the folks back home. It’s a commitment on my part being that one of my frustrations is not having the chance to share my knowledge with our own folks. I have done this to other regions throughout the country and now that I have the chance to share it with Bangui, I am taking that opportunity. I am trying also to come up with a computer literacy module for senior citizens so that we can pioneer to conduct senior citizens training. I am closely coordinating with TESDA on this matter since TESDA is the accredited agency to conduct training in this area. Our office (Region 1) has entered into an MOU with TESDA 1 to conduct computer literacy trainings for public servants using their modules even as the training is conducted after office hours.

Since we started the training about the 4th quarter 2009, we have about 350 graduates and about 75% of that figure have obtained TESDA competency certifications already. And that is only being conducted in our Dagupan City office. We are about to roll out the same program in Alaminos, Vigan and Laoag by May 2010. I have already coordinated with our local officials for the hosting of a Community e-Center in Bangui. They pledged to make available a room with at least 7 desktops. I was able to negotiate for our staff to manage the facility – including maintenance. We agreed that the municipal government shall not have any participation in managing the facility.

The problem is, however, the up and coming general elections. Hope that those who will be elected shall support the proposal. I am also coordinating with our project management office for the release of that was created about 4 years ago for our municipality. Hope that once released, we can find somebody to shoulder the cost of webhosting (or that the LGU shall share its IRA to pay the hosting). Administrative training shall be conducted once the PMO and LGU enter into a MOA on the website usage.

Hope to update you on several programs aimed at helping our own town of Bangui get into the mainstream of IT. I only hope that our municipal officials shall grab the vast opportunities that IT can share to everybody (especially in its development). Or at least, they shall understand and accept that IT plays a vital role in the development of the countryside.

Antonio Edward E. Padre

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