PH, US, Microsoft team up to help fisherfolk
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A number of municipalities in Bohol will be getting a connectivity boost thanks to TV White Space technology and the efforts of Microsoft and the Philippine and US governments.
The Department of Science and Technology’s Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office), Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Microsoft Philippines are teaming up to improve fisherfolk registration for municipalities in Bohol.
The municipalities located in the Danajon Reef Marine Key Biodiversity Area will benefit from this initiative, which will attempt to use TV White Space technology to provide connectivity to the area.
TV White Space technology functions much like WiFi, but takes advantage of the unused spectrum of Philippine television frequencies to provide connectivity to the Internet. The plan to use TV White Spaces to improve Philippine connectivity has been in development for a while, and the hope is that a successful trial here will mean increased testing on TV White Spaces as a connectivity alternative for the country.
According to Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, the aim for White Space use is to have 99% of the country connected by 2016. The fisherfolk registration trial is the first step in mobilizing the system as an effective tool for increasing nationwide connectivity.
Watch Rappler's #TalkThursday with Mario Montejo below.
By improving fisherfolk registration, the Philippine government can better assist the fisheries sector relative to the sector's needs and speed up the registration process.
Local government units can access BFAR’s Fisherfolk Registration System (FRS) from the field, allowing registrants in remote areas to complete their forms virtually and get IDs, certificates, and licenses much faster.
Field operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bantay Dagat, and the BFAR will also be able to quickly access a central database to check if the gear and vessels of fisherfolk comply with national guidelines.
Trials for the TV White Space-augmented fisherfolk registration process are set for September. Results of the trials will determine if any future expansion will occur in 2014. - Rappler.com
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