Wednesday, November 3, 2010


For the longest time, we have been equating June with getting on.

It is high time to associate it with getting online!

Not because, in 2008, Bill Gates' last day at Microsoft happened to fall on June 27.

But by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1521 (s.2008), last month was supposedly our National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month.

For its part, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), created via E.O. 269 (s.2004), unveiled Get Online Philippines! as 2010 theme.

In recognition of ICT's contribution to the national economy and the government’s commitment to implement a national ICT program, CICT issued Memorandum Circular No.2 (s.2010) – calling on all departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the national government, including local government units, to take part.

To optimize the utilization of ICT in the country and enhance the Philippines’ global competitiveness, the CICT offered industry and stakeholder symposia, orientations and webinars for various sectoral groups, training and educational programs, visits at Community eCenters (CeCs or telecentres) offering ICT services and information, advocacy and information dissemination, free Internet use and access to online data on health, agriculture, education, and job opportunities, among others.

It was either you get involved with the all the activities or you initiate your own. CICT Chair Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III, a.ka. The Outsourcing Czar, believes that the impact of ICT on the economy and national development cannot be overemphasized.

In agreement were its commissioners in Angelo Timoteo Diaz De Rivera (eGovernment Development), Frank Perez (Information Infrastructure), Monchito Ibrahim (Cyber Services), and Consuelo Perez (Human Capital Development) whose projects include iSchools, among others.

With the private sector, the government was able to do three things: (1) develop the information technology and business process outsourcing industry; (2) improve the delivery of government services to the general public; (3) make ICT more accessible to all.

Through Get Online Philippines!, the world should know our achievements in establishing a ICT infrastructure and harnessing the power of ICT to improve communications, education, business and government services.

For instance, while we attribute the success of the recent national elections to Precinct Count Optical Scan machines provided by Smartmatic, we fail to overlook not just the role of our public high schools but, also, the contribution ofiSchools which was responsible for distributing 14,280 computer units in 680 internet laboratories nationwide.

Did you know that by the end of August 2010, the 1,000th public high school would have received the same facilities?

Add to that, the training ensures the sustainability of the laboratory: (1) by getting the school community involved in the laboratory’s physical upkeep; (2) by ensuring a cadre of ICT lab managers responsible for the technical upkeep; and (3) by empowering teachers who integrate ICT in their daily tasks of lesson delivery and school management.

Each public high school is ensured to receive the following courses: (a) Computer and Internet Literacy Course as an introductory course to ICT-foreducation purposes; (b) Laboratory Management and Web Development for its lab managers; (c ) library management for the schools’ librarians; (d) sustainability Planning Workshop to develop a sense of community ownership and responsibility for the laboratory’s continued upkeep.

CICT, through iSchools, took a step towards addressing this trend by successfully concluding its PC Maintenance, Recycling, and eWaste management training-workshops. Thirty-two State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) nationwide implemented this training-workshop in their localities.

“Many High Schools have computer laboratories, but due to old age and continuous use, these computers are bound to breakdown and malfunction,” iSchools Project Manager Antonette “Toni” Torres admitted, “so far, 1,392 teachers and school personnel representing 360 public high schools have already participated in their 10-day training program. As a result, an additional 512 computers resulted in a 67% revival rate of defective PC units used as lab materials. Through CICT's initiative, electronic waste is minimized and value for money of computer equipment is maximized.”

iSchools Project would have delivered training to over 6,000 public high school teachers nationwide and the training is designed in phases: (1) teaching the basics of computer systems, basic electronics, and troubleshooting; (2) focusing on the actual troubleshooting, repair and maintenance, software installation, and a little of networking; (3) zeroing on eWaste management and proper disposal of electronic waste, with a session on creative recycling, where unusable parts are turned into educational materials.

Last June 25 at the CICT-National Computer Center Building, viewers of the National ICT Month exhibit were asked to vote.
Before Pres. Benigno Aquino III's inaugural address, CICT was able to announce the winner -- An Innovative Portrait Depicting Nature Using PC Recycled Materials -- created by Prencesita Candeno, Candido Corpuz, Rosemarie Susmena, and Roger Tadaya who made it out of keyboard keys, wiring, capacitor, LAN card, modem card, hit sync, and canvass. Using discarded computer parts, the artists of Cauayan National High School in Turayong, Cauayan City, Isabela came up with an installation art depicting the interplay between nature and man-made technologies. Despite our technological advancements and breakthroughs, we are still beholden to the whims of nature. CNHS's state university partner was Isabela State University and had their PCR training last 18-20 February, 19-21 March, and 13-16 May. TheBest Educational Material award went to e-Coco of Panikihan National High School in Gumaca, Quezon whose state university partner was Southern Luzon State University. e-Coco resembles a large coconut, representing Quezon Province's most famous agricultural product. The keys found in front of the coconut lights up a corresponding computer part found inside the fruit. Aside from this visual cue, an audio recording describes the history and function of the computer part.
Earlier that day, during the Usaping Balita Media Forum at Serye Restaurant and Cafe with Ms. Toni Torres in the panel, Bayan Muna Partylist Rep.Teodoro Casiňo, reiterated that there is a need for a law directing ICT. It should remembered that, as early as 2006, the said author of Free and Open Source Software Act, had been seeking the creation of an attached agency under the CICT to oversee the agencies' migration to open source, especially in government and education. But the bill's biggest hurdle is the lack of awareness on open source, aside from Microsoft's opposition. On the other hand, National Solid Waste Management executive director Emelita Aguinaldo echoed what she presented during the Asian Development Bank Urban Day 2008: “The truth is that we lack proper segregation of recyclable/recoverable waste material at source resulting to low recycling ratio and low quality of recyclable materials. Technological and financial capacity of the domestic recycling industry is limited. No outflow of recyclables to international big market such as China. We are dependent on the collecting and trading of recyclable/recoverable materials upon price fluctuation based on market mechanism and unstable domestic supply of recyclables. There is fragmented information and network for optimizing the flow of recyclable/recoverable materials from generators to the final users.”
Hopefully, all the lawmakers who benefitted from the first automated elections will look beyond, say, mere computerization of the Congress.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter is Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).


If you leave something wonderful to those who come into your life, they will find it difficult to erase you from their hearts.

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