Japan, ILO and DICT launches Digital Transformation Center in BARMM


On 30 May 2024, First Secretary KANNO Chihiro of the Embassy of Japan attended the ceremonial hand-over of the Digital Transformation Center (DTC) at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Cotabato City.
Dignitaries present during the event were Assistant Secretary Wilroy Ticzon of the Department of Information, Communication and Technology (DICT), Director Khalid Hassan of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office-Manila, Executive Director Jonathan Mautikayan of the Bangsamoro Information Communication Technology Office (BICTO), and Director General Surab Abutazil of the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
The construction of the DTC is part of the extensive project of the Government of Japan and the International Labour Organization (ILO), titled “Bringing Back Jobs Safely under the COVID-19 Crisis in the PH: Rebooting Small and Informal Businesses Safely and Digitally (BBJS Project).”  Launched in 2021, the project implemented various activities promoting resilience and economic recovery for micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and informal businesses in the Philippines following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly launched DTC in Cotabato City will provide digital resources and training programs to promote digitalization of business operations and job creation among enterprises in the BARMM.
In his remarks, First Secretary KANNO Chihiro emphasized that while the project was initiated owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project’s promotion of occupational safety and health, and digitalization of business operations prove to be very important even beyond a health crisis. He expressed hope that the collaborative efforts behind the DTC's creation will continue to empower more people in the coming years, ensuring the center's positive impact even beyond the project's term.
Satellite-based internet connectivity (Starlink) and computers were also handed over to five DICT Tech4ED Centers to address internet connectivity challenges. The centers are located in BARMM municipalities: Upi, Parang, and Buldon, and Region 12: General Santos City and M’lang.
Over the years, Japan and ILO have collaborated on numerous development initiatives for the Philippines with the common goal of helping improve the lives of the Filipino people.