ICAM – An NGO in a Model City
Amidst the threats of raids by the national agencies implementing the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and the tightening of local rules and regulations in the registration and operation of cafés in 2005, Internet Café Associations (ICAs) were organized in various towns and cities in the country. The Internet Cafe Association of Marikina (ICAM) Inc. was one of them and has since been in the forefront of the movement to gain recognition on the roles that the industry play in bridging the digital divide.
Founded in early 2006, ICAM soon got recognized by the City of Marikina as a non-government organization (NGO) representing the i-café owners in the area. The association has since worked in various occasions as effective liaison with the government and its instrumentality. It has likewise organized programs and events for the support and benefit of its members. For all intents and purposes, ICAM has shown its importance in the furtherance of a struggling i-cafe industry in Marikina City.
After three (3) years of existence and having a stable membership, the current crop of ICAM officers and trustees recently elected for two-year term is focused on more programs aimed to benefit not only its members but also the community as a whole.
Objected to work closely with the Marikina City authorities, ICAM has scheduled free hands-on skills training for deserving students, educators and civil servants of the city. The association will likewise discuss thoroughly the possibility of adopting a sort of “franchising” scheme for existing as well as incoming café owners.
As an NGO representing the frontliners of industries providing the current as well as the future innovations in information and communications technologies, ICAM definitely deserves all the support it could get in disseminating and enhancing the skills of its members as well as the customers of internet cafés in the city.