Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI Region 12 director, said they have distributed at least 500 high-end personal computers in 50 public high schools in the region this year under the third phase of the PCPS project.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato and cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.
Guiamadel said the beneficiaries received computer packages consisting of 10 IBM units, a printer, Linux-based operating system and software and networking components.
"These are high-end computer packages that are equipped with all the requirements for modern computing operation and access to the Internet," he said.
The DTI delivered last week some 120 personal computers to 12 schools in Sultan Kudarat province. The computers were the last batch of the computer packages allotted for the region this year.
Guimadel said they have so far turned over some 1,842 personal computers to 139 secondary schools in the region since the PCPS project was launched by former DTI Secretary Mar Roxas in 2002.
He said the recipients comprise 39 schools in Cotabato province, 31 in Sultan Kudarat, 31 in South Cotabato, 21 in Sarangani, 11 in General Santos City and six in Cotabato City.
Aside from public schools, he said 32 computers were also distributed to eight local government units and another 21 units to DTI offices in the region.
According to a report from the DTI central office, at least 2,228 public schools nationwide have benefited from the PCPS program. It has provided hands-on computer training to 505,904 students.
It said some 37,812 high school teachers were also trained on basic personal computer operations, troubleshooting, preventive maintenance and the use of computer technology as a tool for teaching and learning.
Through the PCPS, at least 250 pilot local government units (LGU) were reportedly provided with computer packages consisting of a computer server and four workstations installed with eLGU applications system.
"As a result of this project, computer backlog in public high schools were reduced from 69 percent to 29 percent based on the 2001 Department of Education's Masterlist of Public High Schools Nationwide," the report said.
It said more than 14,000 compact discs of instructional materials provided by the Department of Science and Technology -Science Education Institute for Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics were distributed to the recipients.
"The PCPS schools have become IT centers in their communities and served as venue for IT training of out of school youths, LGUs as well as local residents," Guiamadel said.
The PCPS project is part of the government's continuing initiatives to provide various public schools in the country with access to information and communication technology (ICT) systems.
Guiamadel said it is also the DTI's response to the compelling challenges posed by various ICT technologies.
"The knowledge of the students has to be enhanced by making available the necessary technologies and IT skills that are at par with the global standards," he added.