Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology
presented its proposed ICT roadmap last June 5, 2006 at the Crowne
Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City.
nearly a hundred stakeholders from the government, private sector and
civil society, the activity took place in the middle of a leadership
transition within CICT.
proposed ICT roadmap is the output of a process started by former
CICT Chair Virgilio Pena, consolidating the strategies formulated
by Commission’s four components, namely: Human Capital Development;
E-Government; Business Development and Information Infrastructure. On
the 1st of May, Pena was replaced by banker Ramon Sales.
draft begins with a progressive guiding principle of having a “people
centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society,
where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and
knowledge, enabling individuals, communities, and peoples to achieve
the full potential in promoting development and improving their
quality of life.”
civil society affirmed such progressive language, it reiterated that
the ICT sector should not be driven by the market, a position that
appears to be supported by CICT’s Mission and Vision as well as
programs under business development and even universal access. As
Aileen Familara of Isis International Manila asserted, “It is not
the role of the government to merely enable a good business
environment. Instead, it should also concern itself with people’s
proposed ICT roadmap also articulated a reliance on the private
sector in implementing a national broadband plan which aims to
connect 55 percent of rural villages by 2010, among others. Reuben
Ravago of Advanced Software Foundation opined that the government
should “reverse its perspective” that instead of counting on the
private sector which is poised to serve profitable areas, each local
government unit should be given the resources “to own the
infrastructure that addresses it concerns and at the same time open
its network” to other LGUs.
a convenor of civil society, APC member Foundation for Media
Alternatives compiled the initial set of inputs and submitted this to
the CICT. These inputs were the outcome of the two preparatory
meetings FMA organized on May 16, 2006 and June 1, 2006.
document lauds the efforts of the CICT in adopting an encouraging set
of guiding principles and a multi-stakeholder process., But it
stressed the need for “more references on development goals (not
merely competitiveness)” and a deeper understanding of an
“Information Society.” The document also pointed out that the
consultation process has not been as broad and inclusive as it should
be. Hence it recommended a series of consultations with more public
interest groups especially outside Metro Manila.
document likewise explained the need for a more proactive response
from the government in providing access to ICTs especially in the
countryside, urging the CICT to further reach out to groups such as
women and people with disabilities in order to make the Commission's
community e-centers program more relevant. It also recommended the
waiving of licensing fees for community radios.
recommendations include the redelegation of the .ph country code top
level domain which has been arbitrarily managed by a private
individual and a competition policy which can check vertical price
squeezing and cross-subsidization of services. The document also
pushed for the adoption of free and open source software; the
production of a Gender and Development Plan; and the adoption of a
rights-based approach particularly in controversial legislative
measures and emerging employment opportunities.