Addressing the need for closer collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) outside the major metropolitan areas, Microsoft Philippines has launched the new NGO Tour initiative to support nonprofit activities conducted in more remote municipalities.

  Raul Cortez (left), Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Philippines, with Arcadio Gorriceta, Municipal Mayor of Pavia, at the NGO Tour seminar 

The NGO Tour kicked off with a seminar held on 24 August in Pavia, a small town in Iloilo province. The seminar was focused on productivity training and was attended by 15 representatives from 12 nonprofit organisations who were given practical lessons on the use of the latest software to develop presentation materials and manage their organisation’s database.

Each participant was asked to bring along their personal computers to the event, and Microsoft executives demonstrated how they could utilise them more efficiently for work purposes. Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) Eufer Passion and John Erwin Magno, product experts in Windows® 7 and Microsoft® PowerPoint respectively, conducted workshops that shared valuable tips and tricks to maximise the potential of Windows 7. The MVPs also previewed the tablet interface for Windows® 8 and the benefits of upgrading to Microsoft® Office 2010.

During the event, Microsoft Citizenship specialist Cheryll Ann Selda shared with the participants more about the Citizenship programme, and how local NGOs can benefit from software donations through TechSoup Asia.

The NGO Tour event was attended by the Honourable Arcadio Garriceta, the Municipal Mayor of Pavia, who expressed his appreciation for Microsoft’s support in helping NGOs to be more efficient in the delivery of a wide range of services to the local communities in Pavia.

“While Microsoft has regularly organised NGO Connection Days in major cities such as Manila, Cebu and Bacolod, we wanted to do more by extending our support to NGOs who are working closely with the local government units in small towns and more remote municipalities across the Philippines,” said Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director for Microsoft Philippines.  

The NGO Tour was organised with the help of the Iloilo Caucus of Development NGOs (iCode), an umbrella NGO that assisted Microsoft in selecting the event venue and beneficiaries of the initiative. Emmanuel Areño, Executive Director of iCode, said, “We are helping NGOs provide services to local communities in the best possible manner, by extending access to educational modules, training and technology.”

Microsoft can play an integral role in supporting NGOs by providing project management skills and other development training.”

- Emmanuel Areño, Executive Director of iCode