On Apr. 10, I attended an e-commerce conference organized by the government and an industry group composed of local e-business companies.
ZDNet's Philippine bloggers, Melvin G. Calimag and Joel D. Pinaroc, discuss key ICT developments in their country
Melvin G. Calimag
Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Association.
Joel D. Pinaroc
Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.
It's amazing how Taiwan has reinvented itself in the high-technology sector. I still remember the days when most of the world looked down on products that were "Made in Taiwan".
Somewhere in the news section of this Web site, you'll find a story about Intel's impending plan to shut down its Philippine plant after 34 years of operations. This is sad news for the country, but the company seems bent on moving its factory where the cost of labor and electricity is much lower.
Some of you may remember the story I wrote last year in this blog about a lifestyle columnist who was forced to resign from her job, after bloggers expressed outrage over comments she made about overseas Filipino workers. That episode demonstrated how blogging has emerged as a new and powerful medium where ordinary folks can air their opinions and grievances, regardless of whether they're legitimate or not.
Last Tuesday, a day before the whole Philippines went on a national hiatus to observe Lent in this pre-dominantly Catholic country, I accompanied two IT journalist friends to the Makati City Hall to witness the "inquest" proceedings of five suspects who were caught using somebody else's credit card.What's the big deal in this petty crime caper?
I had been reading with amusement the tumultuous sex scandal that recently brought down New York Governor Eliot Spitzer from his post. What's interesting is that Spitzer earned his reputation as a hard-charging former prosecutor who had intricate knowledge of how organized crimes including prostitution rings, work because he battled them in a high-profile manner before becoming New York's top politician.
Like most inhabitants of the Philippines, I often don't follow or take seriously the designated time of a certain event. We have this bad habit, inappropriately called "Filipino time", which oddly puts premium on tardiness.
Before proceeding to discuss my chosen topic for this week, here's an update of the long-running National Broadband Network (NBN) deal: A new witness surfaced last week during the Senate hearings to corroborate what whistleblower Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada Jr. has disclosed so far concerning alleged anomalies.
As much as I'm tempted to write about the never-ending saga on the controversial national broadband network project (there's a revelation almost everyday on this issue, with the latest being Pres. Arroyo's admission that it was indeed riddled with anomalies), I have resolved to shy away from this national shame momentarily.
While the NBN (national broadband network) scandal continues to wreck havoc on the national psyche, with the uninterrupted coverage of the issue by the local media, the Philippines' tech community now seems on a virtual standstill.The local IT industry is paying extra attention not only because the controversial project is IT-related, but also because the alleged whistleblower, Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada Jr.