Making The Digital Plan Works
Remember the Philippine Digital Strategy for 2011 to 2016 (PDS 2011-16) which was announced by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) just a few days before it was downgraded and renamed as Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO)? Well, it seems it will not shelved after all. The newly-named ICTO Executive Director Louis Casambre said he intends to make the digital plan works. He also said he wants to link the seeming disconnect between the private sector and the government.
Having spent 14 years as an integrated circuit (IC) design engineer at ROHM Electronics, a Japanese-owned electronics firm in the Philippines, Casambre remarked that his experience in the private sector allowed him to see the problems of the ICT sector and he now intends to address them as ICTO head. The stern-looking Casambre, a 1987 Electrical Engineering graduate of the University of the Philippines, was recruited by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo from the semicon firm. ICTO is not Casambre’s first stint in the government as he worked for about three (3) years at the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) right after college.
As ICTO’s first executive director, Casambre said his marching order from Montejo is to focus on four (4) main thrusts: e-Governance, Internet For All, Cyber-security, and the IT-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO). All four are in the PDS 2011-16 which I was privileged to participate in its making as an advocate for the Internet café (i-café) industry in the country. We must be aware by now that the i-café industry has grown to be part of the country’s ICT sector and some moves by ICTO in its “Internet For All” plan should concern the i-café stakeholders.
By the way, it was also in the news that although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, Casambre’s deputies at the ICTO will be composed of a new face and two commissioner holdovers from the CICT. Former CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim and Telecommunications Office (TelOf) Chief Frank Perez have been asked to become part of the team, while IBM Philippines government relations head Alejandro Melchor III will reportedly come in to take charge of BPO concerns.
The Internet for All is one wonderful news emanating from the newly-formed ICTO which I strongly believe will greatly alleviate the sorry predicament of many I-cafes suffering due to diminishing patronage. But, we can cross our fingers and hope that the ICTO leadership can deliver the goods as expected from them.
As the saying goes: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Considering that the entire bureaucracy has been infected by the corrupt Arroyo regime, it’s possible that whatever good programs proposed by the ICTO may encounter some roadblocks strewn around by some inefficient bureaucrats.
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