The future is digital, but the digital divide —- gaps in technological access, capacity, and resources —- persists worldwide. While younger generations are well-integrated in the digital space, older generations are lagging behind.

In the Philippines, only 18 percent of Filipinos 65 years-old and above had at least one information and communication technology  (ICT) skill, according to a 2021 report from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). 

Among other age groups, senior citizens had the lowest digital literacy levels, based on six ICT indicators of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

To address this gap, one of the country's largest telecommunication companies Globe Telecom Inc., has launched a #SeniorDigizens campaign to encourage the elderly to dabble into tech.

Last Jan. 25, 220 senior citizens participated in the “Teach Me How to Digi” learning session at SM North Edsa where they were taught by Google, Globe, and KonsultaMD staff how to open Gmail accounts, utilize their smartphones and access telehealth services and fintech apps like GCash.

Globe Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer Yoly Crisanto said the the campaign aims to “equip them with knowledge that will help them adopt new tech and apps that address their day to day pain points.”

Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu emphasized the importance for seniors to learn digital skills in anticipation of a fully digital landscape. 

“We have to help the seniors overcome their fear. And I guarantee you that once you try it, it’s going to be as easy or much easier than the old manual way,” said Cu.

Many government bodies demonstrated their support for the event such as the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) who guided seniors to access their database and helped with other tech tutorials during the event. 
NCSC Chairperson and CEO Atty. Frank Quijano said their agency has been pushing for efforts to bring seniors to the digital age, and expressed their commitment to help facilitate online literacy and safety.

Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay of United Senior Citizens Partylist also expressed her support for the campaign, along with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte who brought a delegation of elderly QCitizens to the event. 

“The city government of Quezon City is proud to partner with Globe in this undertaking. In QC, we give our seniors top priority in terms of public services to help them live their sunset years as active and productive members of society. This project is key in helping them transition into a digital life and help them enjoy the benefits of modern technology,” said the mayor. 

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