IN A bid to decongest urban centers and continue online work, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Cordillera and the Benguet Province launched the Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) center in Baguio City.

The center is where residents can be trained on and do web-based marketing for livelihood.

DICT field operations officer Luzon cluster head William Rojas said the training center served as avenue for entrepreneurs who can work in their areas provided with internet connectivity.

Rojas said the RIS center is a DICT initiative in partnership with the Provincial Government. It is aimed at developing the ICT technical skills and creating ICT-enabled jobs in the province, as well as promoting local talent and businesses for inclusive growth.

At least 26 individuals, mostly out-of-school youths, former overseas Filipino workers, working mothers, and former corporate employees from the different parts of the province, who have undergone training at the DICT regional office in Baguio City.

These are DICT scholars on online RIS Technical Training focused on branding for companies, products, and services, and business blogging. They were also trained to build their own Freelance Profile among other skills.

"There is no need for them to go out of the country but they can still earn dollars. This hub is a help for them to continue conducting technical trainings," said Rojas. "We have to train as many as we can to be involved in ICT trainings once the facilities are established."

Eight laptops with one router and printer were handed over at the center in the provincial capitol building.

Benguet is among the 10 beneficiaries for this year and the first in the Cordillera region.

DICT provide the initial equipment, while the ICT training was conducted in partnership with Department of Trade of Industry by providing MSME's partnered with 22 scholars.

The 22 trainees undergo enhancement training and strengthening entrepreneurial skills.

Trainings are geared toward MSMEs getting clients abroad while the work can be as simple as admin work, executive assistant, online marketing and web design skills.

Resource person and trainer Genesis Reonico said the RIS technical training DTI selected scholars are expected to work with MSMEs on 1:1 ratio.