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DOST starts blockchain technology training for in-house technologists

Ranier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
DOST starts blockchain technology training for in-house technologists
Enrico Paringit, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), said they launched this week the blockchain technology seminar program for select science research specialists in the DOST’s different research and development institutes and other units.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has started in earnest a move to get the country’s scientists and technologists to explore blockchain technology and look into its adoption for practical application in the Philippines.

Blockchain, as defined by Collins Dictionary, “is a system for storing records of transactions using digital currencies that can be accessed by linked computers.”This “block” or transactional records of the public from several databases, known as the “chain,” can be used for practical applications to ensure that the Philippines is not left behind in this emerging technology touted to change the world.

“It is appearing to be an important emerging technology that we have to be in on,” Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña told The STAR.

Enrico Paringit, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), said they launched this week the blockchain technology seminar program for select science research specialists in the DOST’s different research and development institutes and other units.

Paringit said this program has been funded with P1.6 million and aims to cover 70 information technology specialists and researchers in the DOST network.

Dela Peña said he fully supported the move into blockchain technology study for the DOST.

Paringit noted that there was an apparent dearth of local expertise in the emerging technology that even the PCIEERD had difficulty in establishing the training program.

“We had challenges getting experts or seasoned developers to share knowhow on blockchain-based systems development,” Paringit told The STAR.

“Our aim in producing blockchain development specialists is not so much on use cases that tend to focus on financial services mainly on cryptocurrency, but to support how government agencies could also use blockchain not just for conducting financial transactions and collecting taxes, but also for identifying recipients of health care, financial support such as 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program conditional cash transfers) and emergency aid,” he explained.

Paringit said they were also looking at the application of blockchain technology in issuing passports and visas, registering patents and trademarks, recording marriage, birth and death certificates as well as maintaining the integrity of government records.

“Our intention really is to build non-cryptocurrency applications (of blockchain technology),” he said.

The training program on blockchain technology will require a low funding support of just P800,000.

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