Pilar CeC gears up to become island ICT hub

Mayor Lucio Gonzales is delighted to have Pilar, one of the towns in the island of Siargao, Surigao del Norte, as one of the Community eCenter (CeC) beneficiaries for this year. The town's selection means a great deal to its constituents. Pilar has no Internet café or facilities in the area. With the CeC Program, however, Mayor Gonzales anticipates it to significantly affect his constituent's lives, particularly their education through ICT.

The town of Pilar is known as the Game Fishing Capital of the Philippines because of its famous Magpupungko Beach, visited by both local and international tourists. When these tourists ask where and how they can connect to the Internet while they are in Pilar, the answer was always the same: Go to Dapa, an hour away from Pilar.

Facing this dilemma, Mayor Gonzales set about to look for an Internet service provider to have their local government unit connected online, not only for the benefit of the tourists but also for all Pilar residents. What he found was the CeC Program, and the rest is history.

During the 5th Knowledge Exchange Conference on CeCs last year, Mayor Lucio Gonzales formally signed the Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of the CeC. Following this, an orientation was conducted at Pilar's Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall on February 11, 2010 by Melody Cocon, the Regional IT Coordinator for CARAGA.

Pilar's top priority after deployment of the CeC equipment will be the training on basic computing for all LGU employees, with the students slated to be the next target.

Now able to offer ICT services in their own town, Pilar CeC is ready to make a big impact in their tourism and most importantly, in the lives of all Pilarnons. (PIA)

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