Dominguez eyes online education program for Tax Academy

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is exploring a plan to provide training and continuing education programs for local government treasurers through online courses offered by the Philippine Tax Academy (PTA), possibly in partnership with information and communications technology (ICT) provider Huawei Philippines.

Dominguez said selected online courses and classes can be accessed through a private cloud service dedicated to the PTA. In this way, enrollees can remotely access the PTA’s online course offerings through their own computers, tablets or smartphones.

The Finance chief broached this possibility during a recent meeting with Huawei Philippines’ top executives led by its CEO Ray Zhang, who said the company is also developing its online education program and is now in the process of migrating its training systems over the Internet.

“We have the PTA. We can study if the training can be online. Each municipality has a local treasurer, we can do the training online,” Dominguez told Zhang during their meeting.

Director Angelica Sarmiento, the head of the DOF’s Central Management Information Office, said it was possible to come up with this online setup for training local treasurers, through “thin clients” (lightweight, hard drive-less computers) used to establish remote connections to the main PTA server.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has partnered with Huawei Philippines to encourage young innovators to come up with ICT solutions in empowering communities.

According to Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, the PTA has already submitted to the DICT its three-year Strategic Information Plan, which includes setting up an information system for the Academy to facilitate knowledge sharing. Beltran oversees the administration of the PTA.

During PTA’s launch in February, Dominguez said the institution, which is the first of its kind in the country, will not only provide the country’s revenue collectors and administrators with continuing training on best practices to sharpen their competitiveness but will also aim to heighten their commitment to their profession and raise their ethical standards.

Dominguez said he expects the PTA to collect information from all over the world and build strong linkages between research and education, while ensuring “complementarity between professional training and professional management.”

He also wants the PTA to be the tool for developing continuing cooperation with other professional associations, development and funding institutions as well as foreign governments.

Shawn Long, Huawei Philippines’ Director for Government who was also at the meeting, said the company is ready to offer its ICT solutions and organize workshops to assist the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies in migrating to an online environment.

The company is also planning to introduce to the Philippines soon its cloud service, which would further boost investor confidence in the economy as it helps reduce costs for businesses in terms of investing in computer hardware and software, according to Long.

Huawei has also trained over 6,000 engineers so far in its local training center in Paranaque City. Several of the trainees who were sent to its headquarters in Shenzhen, China for further training have returned home to set up their own businesses here.

Long informed Dominguez that Huawei has so far created more than 10,000 jobs in the Philippines, and its ICT solutions are now serving 17 million Filipino consumers.

Huawei is also a digital infrastructure supplier to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as well as with some private banks operating here, Long said.

The company is among the foreign ICT providers interested to bid for the Safe Philippines Project of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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