The Need for a National I-Café Association

national_bodyI had always been for founding an association composing of people engaged in common business activities. I believe it is for everybody’s benefit if they could share a common goal of seeking what’s best for the industry they are in, be it in terms of putting up a united stand on issues of regulation or just having coordinated efforts in holding events and promotion.

It is because of the above reasons why this weblog has a dedicated section on forming ICA (Internet Café Association). I wish to encourage i-café owners in a locality to bind themselves and work for the betterment of the industry by sharing insights and beliefs that can result to local legislation that will benefit both i-café owners and the community they are operating on. The ICA 101 section on this site spells out the procedure in organizing a local association of i-café owners.

Alone, you, as a i-café owner, may find it very difficult to convince your local government unit (LGU) to allow students of minor age to enter your premises during school hours. But, united as an ICA, I am certain that your local officials would be willing to listen and agree that such move is backward and detrimental to student’s educational progress if they will not be allowed to use the internet access service that you provide.

Nowadays, the issue of regulating the operation of i-cafés have spiraled to national level. Regulating access to pornographic sites as well as those sites catering to music and movie downloads in violation of the intellectual property rights of copyright holders is becoming a national concern. You may also add the issue of software piracy which today has remained unabated.

I am not saying that a national body representing the interest of i-café owners has to be formed in order that those using pirated software may continue doing so. Neither should such body be formed to stop the inspection or raids of establishments violating the Intellectual Property Code.

I say, a national association, preferably an alliance of ICAs under one umbrella, must be organized to work for the promulgation of fair and reasonable laws and regulations as well as their rightful implementation by the authorities. The formation of such body is the only way that the people in the national government will listen to i-café owners positions on the many issues affecting the industry.

In my future blog posts, I will be tackling the details of the goals of the what I call national i-café association. I know the importance of your understanding the objectives of founding such an organization. I understand that your lack of support on its formation would spell the doom of such plan. On the other hand, not having such body may result to restrictive rules and regulations that may make the existence of the industry more difficult than it is now.

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