UNDP hands over 4,000 tablets to DICT to help strengthen digital governance and COVID-19 response nationwide

Posted June 17, 2022
Charlene Balaan/UNDP Philippines

Mandaluyong, Philippines – To support the government's COVID-19 response work, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines turned over 4,000 tablets with keyboards to the central office and regional clusters of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Supported by UNDP, this initiative is in line with the DICT’s objective to assist concerned agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH) to facilitate convenient and organized social services, especially given the changes brought about by the pandemic.

With this latest set of tablet distribution, UNDP and DICT will be able to assist the DOH in updating the VaxCertPH digital platform, which serves as a verification platform for the citizens’ vaccination status. It also provides the official digital vaccination certificate for those vaccinated in the Philippines. VaxCertPH is particularly important to facilitate convenient and organized local and international travel since it provides a uniform and standardized proof of a person’s vaccination status. 

Charlene Balaan/UNDP Philippines

During the turnover ceremony, Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Philippines Resident Representative, highlighted the importance of strengthening digital governance to improve the provision of public service especially as the country adjusts to the “new normal” posed by the pandemic.

“We want to strengthen digital governance to make social services more accessible to people. In line with this, we want local governments to have the equipment needed for pandemic response. These gadgets will help ensure that no place and person will be left behind in terms of vaccination information management,” Ramachandran said.

Also present at the event was outgoing DICT Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Caintic. Secretary Caintic who expressed his utmost appreciation to UNDP for turning over the tablets, which coincided with the celebration of the 2022 National Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Month and the DICT’s 4th anniversary week. Secretary Caintic further urged the UNDP to carry on with these initiatives that targets to help Filipinos nationwide become digitally connected.

The tablets provided by UNDP will be distributed to an estimated 400 local government units (LGUs) nationwide for use in rural health units, vaccination centers, and public hospitals. The gadgets will be used to enable LGUs that have no previous capacity to digitally input and transmit their vaccination records to the DICT and DOH through the VaxCertPH. These gadgets will enable the LGUs to capture data digitally and provide the information needed in generating vaccination certificates.

Following the government’s priorities, UNDP helps strengthen the health care information and communications technology (ICT) systems of government and enhance disaster preparedness and response of DICT and local government units (LGUs) for responsive and resilient connectivity and communications.