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San Remigio Community eCenter, Key in Transformation of A Place

The Municipality of San Remigio is a typical rural community in Central Philippines. Only about a few years ago, only one then two radio stations based in Bogo, eight kilometers away, provided daily information and news. The distance to schools, transportation inefficiency and the poverty of the population needed a lift. While farmers and fisherfolk are tied to their old practices the teachers tied to their pedagogic teaching methods and antiquated tools, San Remigio was a picture of poverty.

In contrast to the neighboring Bogo, the educational hub of northern Cebu, people live in style, although not necessarily far richer. It was no surprise for one to hear a San Remigio to refer to him/herself as coming from Bogo. Such confused identity or deliberate misrepresentation was common among the young because they couldn’t quite connect San Remigio to anything that would be remembered except when they get to bring their visitors to the place itself which would make it totally a different story.

The recent discovery of iron-age artifacts serve to stimulate community identify multiplied by the ICT vehicle for information sharing. The advances of ICT resulted in a jump in the quality of education that a good number of students in San Remigio National High School consist of Bogo natives.

The ease of information sharing about San Remigio and its people, it is now almost synonymous to rich cultural heritage and best practices, and community-based resource management. Meanwhile, the access of information to ICT users means a life of knowledge and improved application to the real business of living the life of a youth, teacher, farmer, fisherman, elderly and the like. The bond that can be afforded by the OFW San Remigiohanon means a lifetime of security and good future for the family left at home.

The vehicle wherein the past, the recent past, the present and San Remigio’s future is anchored in relevant use of ICT. With these notable pursuits, there isn’t much around to compare it with.

The turning point was the Community eCenter Roadmap for 2011-2016 which envisioned to bring the program to the villages, San Remigio as an “e-Municipality which had already conceptualized, and started the implementation of the Barangay e-Project, thus stepping ahead from the rest of the pack of Local Government Units all across the country as a lead project of this nature.

The Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN), installed in 2010, provided internet connectivity (http://www.philcecnet.ph/content/view/574 to remote villages. The first Philippine Barangay Community eCenter and the first Community eCenter initiated Wireless Network internet service is the San Miguel Community eCenter, http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/731758/san-remigio-open-second-e-..., 35 kilometers from town center.

Two Community e-Learning Centers for the Out-of-School Youth and Adults. http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/736579/2-eskwela-centers-launched It is a modular class providing wide-ranging opportunities to dropout students and adults to pursue education then applying for a job, effectively reducing the number of juvenile delinquency, illiterates and making them join the employed sector.

In 2011, San Remigio CeC joined the Global Connection and Exchange (GCE) program in partnership with Philippine CeC Network (PhilCeCNet) and International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) to have collaboration with high school students and its partner School in USA. Modules prepared the students for various ICT trainings, community services and leadership. Subsequently, the Tech Age Girls contest which gathered female students trained on ICT applications; computer basics, internet basics, blogging, leadership,internship in big company and interaction with nationally known women leaders http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/2013/01/21/899418/5-san-rem-stude.... The GCE and Tech Age Girl program is duly funded by the US Department of State.

Awards came one after another http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/2012/11/04/863220/san-rem-pc-cent... came one after the other to no one’s surprise. Awards became shining moments of inspiration, an opportunity to grow to become one with the world in issues that transcend race, religion and ideology. San Remigio is now a willing and able participant in the global scene as it works locally, deliberately /proactive .Connectivity became the key in stimulating the dynamism and competitiveness for effective public service delivery at the local level.

This achievement seeks to become a template for remote areas not only in the Philippines, but in any part of the world with the absence of ICT service provider. Thus deserve to be recognized globally.

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