Now that the country's first automated elections is just five weeks away, the campaign season has gone on a hyperdrive with jaded voters being bombarded with all sorts of ridiculous propaganda.But, with most of the leading candidates already having exhausted the TV airtime allowed by the Fair Elections Act, the political battle among the bitter rivals is moving to the Internet where the online crowd--particularly in Facebook--is converging in the millions.
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.
Does the Philippines have too many lawyers and not enough scientists? This seems to be the common perception in this country where hotshot legal eagles are treated like rock stars, while scientists are mostly ignored and relegated in the dark corners of their laboratories.
Filipinos are again over the moon with the masterful performance of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in yesterday's bout against Ghana native Joshua Clottey. This guy never ceases to give his hard-up countrymen a reason to cheer every time he fights gallantly in the ring.
Despite the fact that the IT and e-services sector contributes billions of revenues to the local economy--the semiconductor sub-sector is still the largest export earner for the country--I have yet to hear anyone from the current crop of presidential candidates for this year's national elections talk about their actual plans for this vital industry.
Last Tuesday, I found myself in the Senate to witness the fate of two ICT-related measures--the bill creating the Department of ICT (DICT) and the proposed cybercrime law--just a couple of days before the chamber formally adjourned for the elections.It has been a long time since I last set foot on that building along Manila Bay.
I hate to be an alarmist or an agent of gloom, but the fate of the country literally (I detest this word but I'll use it anyway) hangs in the balance with the automated national elections scheduled on May 2010.A failure of elections, as pointed out by various publications and law experts, would result in the Philippines not having a president because all the supposed Constitutional successors are either running for reelection or retiring.
On Jan. 1, 2010, Ronald James Panis wrote in his Facebook account: "Life is shorts.
I have an awful attention span and so I suck at reading books, particularly novels. I'm only good at reading magazines and newspapers, which may be quite ironic for a guy who strings words for a living.
No, this is not about next year's election, although the coming 2010 polls is generating a lot of buzz here not because of its historical value--it's the first automated elections for the country--but due to the various issues (the counting machines, for instance, haven't been delivered yet) and the gruesome election-related massacre that rippled across the globe recently.
Before anything else, let me devote a few words to the fallen journalists and other victims of the brutal massacre that occurred last week in the southern province of Maguindanao. It's the most atrocious crime I've ever seen in the Philippines--a big black eye that overshadowed the recent victories of Filipinos Manny Pacquiao (unprecedented 7th title in 7th weight division) and Efren Penaflorida (CNN Hero of the Year).