“This is the first time that the Department of Science and Technology will be doing a simultaneous celebration of the National Science and Technology Week in the different regions of the country.” This was emphasized by Dr. Paulina P. Nebrida, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations during her welcome remarks in the S&T Fora on 25 July 2016 held at the Function Hall of Jollibee Plaza, City of San Fernando, La Union.
In one of the several topics under the thematic area on “ICT-based Learning and Empowerment”, DICT OIC-Director William B. Rojas, who gave the lecture on “Free WIFI Internet Access in Public Places” which was dubbed as “Juan Konek!”, said that the goals of the project is to connect and educate less fortunate brothers and sisters to internet and for them to become digitally-empowered citizens so that no Juan gets left behind. Places covered by Free WIFI are as follows: Plazas and Parks; Public Libraries; SUCs; RHUs and Government Hospitals; Train Stations, Airports and Seaports; including NGA and LGU Offices.
Director Rojas also added that the project aims to provide free broadband Internet Access to 1,462 Class 1 to 6 Municipalities and 44 Key Cities nationwide.
Also, a topic on Tech4Ed or Technology for Education to gain Employment & empower Entrepreneurs towards Economic (4E's) Development, was discussed by Ms. Mary Jane B. Nerona of DICT Luzon Cluster 1. This project will provide equal opportunities and empower people towards creating a progressive community in all barangays for the benefit of out-of-school youth & adults, PWDs, Senior Citizens, indigenous peoples and others.
Furthermore, the DOST Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk System, known as STARBOOKS, the first Philippine Science Digital Library was likewise, facilitated by Mr. James D. Prepose of DOST 1.
Among the participants in the S&T Forum came from the various Municipalities of the Region as well as representatives from different National Government Agencies and Academe.