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The Center for Technology Excellence, a training and certification program established by the Virtual Center for Technology Innovation in Information Technology (VCTI-IT) unit of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), along with Microsoft Philippines, is set to give recognition to 193 IT Professionals from the government and the academe who were part of the program. The graduation ceremonies is scheduled on January 20, 2004 at the lobby of the Computational Science and Research Center of the College of Science in U.P. Diliman.

The CTEX program which was started in March 2003, was aimed at training around 500 IT instructors and professionals in Visual Basic and Windows Server.

To date, 193 participants have become Microsoft Certified Professionals. A total of 351 have completed the program but only 290 have taken the certification exam. The rest are still scheduled to take the exam.

"The project was set up to provide IT professionals in government and academe with an opportunity to get world-class training and certification at a low price," said TJ Javier, Microsoft Philippines' managing director. "This was one way to help increase the number of certified professionals in the country and thus highlight the IT skills of our local programmers and developers. And with the good turn out of MCPs through this excellent program our country could be on its way to compete globally."
Two computer labs for the training program have been set up in Metro Manila. One lab is housed in the Computational Science and Research Center of the College of Science in U.P. Diliman, and the other in Southeastern College located in Pasay City. Each lab contains 20 PCs, all funded by Microsoft Philippines.

Microsoft Philippines provided the equipment and software for the two computer labs and sponsored the training. The program cost P5000, which included training and exam costs. Participants were given a rebate of P1000 if they pass the certification exams.

"Certification is the universal measure for IT proficiency and competence. It is an accepted standard all over the world - firms abroad usually look for certification in the people they hire. Certification will greatly help the Philippine IT industry in the global arena," Javier said. "We are glad that VCTI-IT, DOST, UP, and Southeastern College have partnered with us on this important program."

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