Angara: ICT can be brought to the Grassroots through the Aurora e-Village Project

BALER, AURORA -- “The Aurora e-Village Project hopes to demonstrate that ICT can be brought to the grassroots specifically the province of Aurora.”

Angara This was the statement of Senator Edgardo J. Angara in his keynote speech in the soft-launching of the Aurora e-Village Project held in the Rice processing Complex Baler, Aurora last June 29, 2009.

“While the rest of the world have gone online in terms of business and personal transactions, the Provincial Government of Aurora, the Department of Agriculture and the Development Academy of the Philippines embark on a new challenge of uniting and linking the municipalities of Aurora though Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by creating a system of transaction and accessing information particularly agriculture” said Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Director Asterio Saliot.

According to Senator Angara, the idea of the project started when he was invited in Bangalore, India, where there is a digital village and they taught their farmers on how to access the internet and get valuable information for their production. ”And we hope that the people of Aurora especially the farmers would adopt and assimilate ICT as a helpful tool for their production” added Senator Angara.
Governor Bellaflo Angara-Castillo of Aurora believes that through the project the quality of the product would greatly improve. “Sa proyektong ito, inisip natin na magkaroon ng agricultural information system para sa mga farmers natin. Nais natin magkaroon ng production system ay maiangat ang antas ng kalidad ng mga produkto,” Governor Angara-Castillo said.

Commissioner Angelo Timoteo M. Diaz De Rivera of Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) sees the project as the key in bridging the digital divide in Aurora, where better access to information will be expected. “With the help of ICT, we can now bridge the physical divide and digital divide that persist in the province of Aurora. This project will be reference site for which we will now look at for the other provinces of the country in trying to replicate the success that will surely come out from this particular project” Commissioner Diaz De Rivera said. 

Likewise, access to information can be acquired in just one click as what President Antonio D. Kalaw of Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) noted. “With modern technology, the information we need to be more competitive is available with one click of a finger through the use of Information Communication Technology or ICT, or what we commonly refer to as the wonders of computers, the web, the internet, the cellular phones and texting”.

The project aims to integrate ICT as part of a rural community’s life to improve access to information, enhance productivity, increase family income and improve quality of life in the community. It also aims to provide a collective strategy in the adoption, dissemination, and commercialization of technology-based, market driven production system for agricultural productivity and competitiveness.

For the first phase of the project, four municipalities of Aurora will be the main beneficiaries, namely Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis and Dipaculao. Local cooperatives from these four municipalities will be capacitated to provide technology-based information that they can share with the farmers. For the second phase, the project will be implemented in the four remaining municipalities of Aurora namely, Casiguran, Dingalan, Dilasag and Dinalungan.

The project will be implemented for two years by the Department of Agriculture through ATI and Philippine Rice Research Institute together with the Development Academy of the Philippines and the Provincial Government of Aurora.(Benedict C. Natividad)
 
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