If not for the weird story that President Arroyo underwent a breast implant operation in a local hospital, I'm pretty sure the heat and public ridicule would not have abated against tech firm TIM, after it threatened to pull out from its partnership with Dutch-Venezuelan company Smartmatic for the automation of 2010 national elections.For the benefit of readers based outside of the Philippines, TIM (Total Information Management) told the Commission on Elections (Comelec) last Monday, Jun.
IT rantings from the Philippines.
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.
As I write this, news organizations all over the world are still scrambling to cover the sudden and shocking death of Michael Jackson, a "troubled genius" and "tortured icon", as CNN put it. Certainly, he was no boring guy as he was the master of the entertainment stage.
In my almost a decade of covering the IT beat here in the Philippines, I've written different sorts of stories--some of them quite interesting (at least in my point of view), some were technical (although I also didn't really understand the IT concepts myself), and a few that we might label as weird. In my book, weird means absurd.
The local IT industry has been teeming with activities in the last few weeks, so much so that you'll wonder if there's really an economic crisis going on. Not even the sudden upsurge of reported H1N1 cases in the country has dampened the mood around town.
When Rafael "Pepeng" Rollan, managing director of Microsoft Philippines, told the local IT press on May 17 that the company was offering a voluntary separation package (VSP) to its local employees as part of Microsoft's global job cuts, I didn't have the slightest idea that he, too, will quit his job and take advantage of the exit package.But that's exactly what happened as Microsoft, in a press statement this morning, announced that Rollan will relinquish his post this September.
The over-the-top coverage by the mainstream media this week on the sex video scandal of a celebrity doctor here has been particularly amusing. Though I subscribe to the idea that it shouldn't have been accorded front-page treatment, I now think that it is perhaps a blessing in disguise that it exploded this way as it has exposed the country's lack of applicable laws that penalize online voyeurism, pornography, trafficking, and other cyber-related crimes.
Last weekend, I had the chance to take part in an offsite press event organized by Smart Communications, the topdog in the mobile telecom space here in the Philippines. I was surprised to hear that they, too, have plans to roll out WiMax, as its rival Globe Telecom had done recently.
The way things are going at the pre-qualification bidding of IT suppliers for the 2010 elections, I now have this uneasy feeling that the country will again end up with another botched attempt at automating the polls and in its wake lays another MegaPacific mess.
In more ways than one, Sun Microsystems Philippines (SunPhil) is an "anomaly" among the large IT companies in the country. Let me try to explain this in light of the recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle.
Unlike India which has launched quite a number of successful global IT firms, mostly in the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector, the Philippines seems to be content in merely hosting multinational companies in the country.A cursory glance at the composition of the largest tech firms in the country would reveal that the majority, if not all, of them are foreign-owned.