PCW lauds DILG’s support for ICT upskilling of women by the Aboitiz Foundation and Connected Women

Expanded AIDA for Women: The Department of the Interior and Local Government, Aboitiz Foundation, and Connected Women signed a Memorandum of Agreement in upskilling women in artificial intelligence and data annotation (AIDA) under the Elevate AIDA Program. Posting for prosperity were (seated from left) Connected Women Co-Founder Ruth Yu-Owen, DILG Secretary Atty. Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr.; Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz; Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan; (standing from left) DILG Usec. Margarita Gutierrez, Connected Women CEO Agnes Gervacio; Toledo City, Cebu Mayor Marjorie Perales; Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chaves; Aboitiz Equity Ventures Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar; and Isabela City, Basilan Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman (photo courtesy of Aboitiz Foundation)

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) expressed support for the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Aboitiz Foundation, and Connected Women that aims to improve the lives of women in the Philippines through nationwide technology upskilling and income-generation programs.

The Elevate AIDA (artificial intelligence and data annotation) Project will prepare women to become remote data annotators equipped with on-the-job training, targeting to uplift 300,000 underskilled and disadvantaged women through technology upskilling and income generation initiatives over the next three years. Upon training completion, women beneficiaries will be ready to take on basic data annotation tasks such as image identification, categorization, and labeling. They will also be prepared to provide services for clients effectively and efficiently as remote workers.

In a ceremony held on July 18, 2023, DILG Secretary Atty. Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. encouraged local government units to support, implement, and sustain this government and private sector initiative to localize inclusive growth and empowerment of marginalized women.

“With the Elevate AIDA Program, women will have more opportunities in the aspect of technology and more remote work options for inclusive and diverse workplaces. This is a crucial step towards building a more innovative and sustainable workforce for the Philippines’ digital future,” Secretary Abalos said.

Empowering women, families, and communities

PCW Executive Director and Officer-In-Charge, Atty Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves commended the initiative, highlighting the importance of collaboration between government, private sector, non-government organizations, and communities in achieving an ecosystem that nurtures growth, inspires innovation, and fosters inclusivity.

“Through the success of this program, we will not only uplift individual lives but also drive social and economic progress on a global scale. Empowered women are agents of change, and their influence will ripple across families, communities, and nations, creating a ripple effect of empowerment and prosperity” Atty. Yuzon-Chaves said.

The PCW Executive Director added that the PCW, as proud allies for gender equality, applauds Elevate AIDA for reducing the digital divide among Filipino women and stepping up efforts to provide opportunities to those in the country’s rural regions. With this remarkable collaboration, Executive Director Yuzon-Chaves emphasized the goal of increased female labor-force participation while alleviating their share of unpaid childcare and housework. She highlighted that this program calls for progressive policies on unpaid care and domestic work that give women more time to upskill and achieve their full potential.

Meanwhile, Connected Women Co-Founder Ruth Yu- Owen said their organization is grateful for the partnership.

“Together, we will drive economic and social empowerment, making a life-changing impact on the women, their families, and communities,” Yu-Owen said.

As a corporation that utilizes technology and innovation in its businesses, Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz reaffirmed the commitment of his company to uplifting and upskilling women to prepare them for high-demand technological skills.

“Our world is rapidly evolving, with technology playing an increasingly crucial role. Artificial Intelligence and data annotation are no longer things of the future; they are here and now.” Mr. Aboitiz emphasized the importance of AIDA.