By Lady Jean Kabagani

MARAWI CITY, Oct 4 (PIA ICCC) – The aftermath of the Marawi siege left several individuals to have no permanent jobs and financially unstable, as another result, the unemployment rate in the city escalates.

As the conflict starts, many thriving Maranaos have lost their livelihoods and businesses.

To help address unemployment, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) implemented the Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) Technical training for the Information and Technology (IT) intellectuals within Marawi City and its neighboring municipalities affected by the siege.

Aside from assisting the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to become technology ready and be equipped in ICT opportunities, the agency aims to provide technical trainings to these conflict-affected residents increasing their capabilities and support them to land in ICT-related jobs.

DICT has launched the first batch of the trainees who’ve undergone the ‘10-day face-to-face’ RIS technical training held in Siyapen Building, Brgy. Marawi Poblacion, Marawi City.

Within the training period, the agency aims that the IDPs can gain employment through online freelancing industry.

According to DICT’s training facilitator Namraida Saranggani, the RIS technical training primarily targets to increase people’s hireability by focusing on development and improvement on Marawi IDP’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills, enabling them to utilize it for future employment opportunities.

“I hope na ito yung maging way nila para maacheive nila kung ano yung goals nila [I hope this would pave way for them to achieve their goals in life],” Sarangani is optimistic that the trainees would be able to contribute to the economic growth within their locality.

Moreover, this training recognizes the role of the Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) to provide employment opportunities. By increasing competency of the talent, this training will also serve as an avenue to promote the use of e-Commerce by MSMEs while reducing the unemployment rate in the conflict-torn city.

Hamdan Guro, one of the RIS technical trainees, is very much thankful for the opportunity given by DICT as it provides support to his current living. (Photo by James Umaran.)

Hamdan Guro, one of the RIS technical trainees took the opportunity to be part in this endeavor.

He is a resident of Lilod Saduc, Marawi City. As an IT freelance, he was able to do a lot of online job to support his living. But when the siege happened, his business has also vanquished.

Guro admitted that DICT’s RIS Technical training has been a great help for him bringing back his info tech profession, “For me as an IT, ito yung pinakamagandang opportunity para ipakita sa worldwide na meron kaming kakayahan sa virtual assistance [For me as an IT, this is a very good opportunity to showcase worldwide that we have the ability when it comes to virtual assistance].”

Guro shared that he took the training course to support his financial constraints while taking his master’s degree in IT profession.

“It’s an advantage na talagang pinupush ng DICT para makilala sa world of technology [It’s an advantage that DICT pushes us to be well-found in the world of technology],” Guro shared.

Guro also encourages his fellow IT professional to take every opportunity to learn more on this vocation, “If you have time to earn knowledge then take it, because it’s an opportunity, knowledge can’t be paid so get out to your box.”

DICT intends to empower local talents and maximize online businesses along the war-torn city.

DICT provides a free Rural Impact Sytem Technical training for Marawi residents. (Photo by James Umaran.)

In addition, DICT’s Project GovNet aims to interconnect government agencies, wherein Marawi residents would be able to experience more efficient government online services. The agency’s interventions to the conflict communities have been expanded through Technology for Education through or the Tech4Ed project which improves the regular education system following a more developed digital education.

Moreover, to accelerate government efforts on economic, social and education opportunities for Marawi, DICT established several projects involving the use of high technologies and digitals.

DICT has taken the road of establishing free internet access spots in some municipalities of Lanao del Sur and in Marawi City. Residents can now experience free internet connection under the Pipol Konek Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project. (LjKabagani/PIA ICCC)