It initially came out in the newspapers as an ordinary big-ticket infrastructure project that incidentally fell under the IT domain. But early on, members of the local IT community already sensed that there was something wrong with the fact that the government was going to an area that is better--and should be--left to the care of the private sector.
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.
The central theme in the current U.S. presidential campaign is revolving around "hope".
SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC--The LCD monitor inside the Northwest Airlines flight that I'm taking says we're 36,000 feet above this vast ocean. I'm on my way back to the Philippines after taking a side trip to San Francisco from a press coverage in Washington, United States.
In 1975, a young graduate of the University of the Philippines named Teresita packed her bags to pursue her post-graduate studies in the United States. Dismayed at her country’s economic and political state then, she vowed never to come back.
The whole Philippines--that includes me, of course--has just gotten back to work after a long break. Filipinos probably enjoy the longest Christmas season in the world, which usually starts when the "ber" months arrive and lasts until the Feast of the Three Kings in the first Sunday of January.
I'm out and away on a holiday vacation in some remote place here in the Philippines.Well, that's what I'd like to think.
Swamped under the tons of IT news and frenzied holiday rush was the recent formal launch of the 136 million pesos (about US$3 million) e-payment gateway for the Philippine government portal.It took four long years before the payment facility was inaugurated despite the fact that it was a flagship project of the Philippine government under the auspices of the Commission of Information and Communications Technology (CICT).
On the day a UN-sponsored summit on global warming opened in the island of Bali in Indonesia, a much smaller gathering of IT players also took place in the Philippines to address a contentious issue bugging the industry and the whole country in general--the threat of electronic waste.That conference on green IT was organized by CyberPress, or the IT Journalists Association on the Philippines, which I'm heading right now.
Something weird happened again in the Philippines last week. But I'm not referring to the hotel siege staged by renegade soldiers last Thursday in the heart of the country's financial capital--this has become quite ordinary here.
There are things that are really terrible here in the Philippines, like traffic and the way politicos take credit for projects that are funded by public money. However, I'm still convinced that the country has a lot more positive traits over the not-so-good ones.