Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become and will continue to be an integral part of the day-to-day life of every Filipino across all levels of our society. Information has always played a vital role in our history. Over the ages, people have used it to gain a more accurate picture of their current situation, make better decisions for the future, and improve the quality of their lives. But never has information been more accessible and more widespread than it is today.
The latest improvements in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have been impressive. Computers are progressively becoming smaller, more affordable, and more powerful. They are capable of storing an almost vast amount of data and information. And they are interconnected through telephone lines, satellites, and fiber-optic cables that span across the world, allowing the ability to communicate and share information with one another across borders.
The pervasiveness of communication technology around the world necessitates that government embark on a cohesive and coordinated strategy on how to prepare its citizens to survive, live and thrive in a digital world. The world is experiencing a digital revolution and the Philippines have the opportunity to play an enormous role in it. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is an important part in the country’s development. Opportunities abound with the help of ICT.
The current ICT master plan for the Philippines dates back to 2006. With all of the new developments in this highly dynamic field, there is clearly a need to develop a new blueprint on how the country and its people can benefit from the use of ICT in governance, our economy and improving one’s way of life. The Philippines positions itself at the forefront of the digital revolution – dynamic and in command of the future.
ICT is used extensively in the delivery of career information and guidance. Such usage covers wide range of applications. The role of ICT in guidance can be seen in three ways: as a tool, as an alternative, or as an agent of change. The growth of websites and helplines as forms of technically mediated service delivery means that the potential of ICT as a change agent is now greater than ever before.
Current business-command the optimization of ICT usage to support national objectives of becoming a high income developed country. Thus as an enable, ICT in public sector must be addressed in general manner including people, process and technology where internal and external needs must be taken into place. The ICT evolution will take place with or without a systematic, comprehensive and articulated policy. However, the lack of a coherent policy is likely to contribute to the development (or prolonged existence) of ineffective infrastructure and a waste of resources.
The importance of ICT policies is understood at the highest political level in many developing countries, and some countries have already adopted their own policies. The effectiveness of an ICT policy in one country does not guarantee that the same method would work in another and many developing countries face similar constraints that need to be taken into account when ICT policies are formulated.
Philippines’ ICT against Other Countries ICT Development
Current trends the world over the pointed to the fact that the major developments in the information economy. It resulted in revolutionizing the way people communicate and for the governments and firms to interact and conduct business. The presence of a reliable, accessible and affordable Philippine Information and communications infrastructure is a necessary condition for our participation in the information economy. Without it, our country will once again face the prospect of being marginalized in the global economy.
The next part of this case study will discuss a brief ICT’s plan and current situation of our 3 neighboring countries;
Singapore One of the key drivers of the Singapore’s Economic growth is their ICT. The island state is well connected via both fixed and wireless networks. By early 2012, their mobile penetration has passed 150%. By maintaining Singapore’s status as an ICT market leader, the government launched its plan for a nationwide fibre-based broadband network known as the Next Generation Broadband Network (NGNBN) and this is being rolled out in line with the government’s strategy.
Hong Kong The world’s freest economy, characterized by free trade, free market and free flow of capital with stable and freely convertible currency and no foreign exchange controls. Their ICT development, the free flow of information with no censorship on content transmission provided a good environment for the development of web-based businesses such as content and media and cloud computing. In the next few years’ government will increasingly adopt cloud-based services. Such initiative will spawn opportunities for vendors and providers. Their telecommunications infrastructure is one of the most sophisticated in the world, with a wide range of innovative and advance services available in relatively low prices. The country also ensure the online secure. Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) was set up to coordinate responses to computer security incident, promote information security and take preventive measures against Internet Security threats. Malaysia
Malaysia’s national transformation agenda envisions an innovative citizen-centric model of public service delivery accordance with the country’s principles. This is undertaken in tandem with a bold economic transformation approach to propel their countries in to a high-income economy by 2020. The effective utilization and application of information and communications technology (ICT) across multi-faceted service delivery of internal and government operations.
The developments of country’s future where the ICT implementation comprise a suite of service offerings and infrastructure development that support a fundamental shift towards a collaborative and co-operative arrangement of open consultation, open data, shared knowledge and expertise. The Malaysian Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan (2011-2015) provides the blueprint to accelerate the innovative utilization and development of ICT in readiness for the ever-changing service landscape facing their public sector.
Is it our country really prepared for this to compete with our neighboring countries? Can we level up our ICT sector with them? How ready is our country to harness the fast phase and benefits of information and communications technology?
Our country’s main department about ICT related issues is the ICTO (Information and Communications Technology Office) which is under the Department of Science and Technology which is the former Commission on Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The ICTO’s primary thrusts for 2011-2016 are in the areas of ICT Industry Development, E-government, ICT Policy Development, ICT infrastructure and Cyber security.
As designated organization by our government ICTO will ensure the development and implementation of comprehensive program to sustained the growth and comprehensiveness of ICT industries segments and firms; formulate an integrated program to support the growth of the ICT industry in the regions; undertake the development of an industry-relevant curriculum in coordination with the industry, government and academe to enhance the competitiveness of the ICT workforce, formulate, recommend and implement a comprehensive and harmonized ICT promotions and advocacy programs.
Facilitating ICTO’s mandate in formulation ICT policies, implementing ICT plans and programs, leading international ICT cooperation bodies, and other related functions is the ICT Governance Policy and Planning group, which take lead in multi-stakeholder policy development. Primary initiatives for the policy and planning includes; National Connectivity and Broadband Development Plan, Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS) Implementation Plan, Cyber security and Data Privacy, ICT Procurement Standards, Digital TV Migration, ICT Standardization and the Philippine ICT statistics Portal.
Ensuring that ICT access and Internet opportunities are available for the entire country is made possible by the development of effective and sustainable and strategic ICT infrastructure. The ICT infrastructure Group through its various programs ensures that these connectivity requirements are met in an efficient and effective manner. These projects include the TV White Space Initiatives (TVWS), Government Fiber Core Network, Upgrade of National Microwave Network, Cloud Top e-Learning for Public Schools and Internet TV Testbed.
With all the documents presented our country’s policies regarding in boosting our ICT development and infrastructure are impressive. But only question is that, is there will be enough budget that the government will provide to sustain these developments? We might left behind in many aspects with our neighboring countries in terms of ICT development but we can still move forward and have these implemented with the right manpower, policy and full support from our government and private sector as well.
Recommendation for ICT Development
We are all contributors to the development of the global economy. Globalization, which is made possible by the ICT revolution, has extremely changed the rules of the development of it. Efficiency more than ever is now an indicator of competitiveness to achieve our nations goals. Nations, corporations and people that find the means to become more efficient will advance and prosper.
We all know that in our country ICT will be one of the major drivers for boosting economy, and as a critical tool for better governance, corporate performance and individual achievement as a Filipino.
Our government’s should provide an enabling policy, legal and regulatory environment for the ICT development. This means that our government should act as a facilitator and its involvement should be predictable, developmental, transparent and efficient. With more transparency in government operations and diminishing corruption by placing more government data in the public domain using the Internet, thus increasing opportunities for public scrutiny.
For government more improvement for ICT development they must build public trust, enhance citizen to participate in government projects and activities, improve government’s public services online, and improve country’s competitive ness thru more efficient government operations.
Another factors that needs to give attention to our country’s ICT development are the private sectors, civic organizations and society, international organizations they the role and responsibility as well. There are some actions that need to implement in order for these organization to help on enhancing our ICT programs: * By providing knowledge tools and enhance capacity in industry sectors to take advantage the ICT. * Create an environment for job growth in ICT and ICT-enable job all over the country if possible. * Promote an environment that entices investments for ICT research, innovation, development & manufacturing
In order to ensure the success and sustainability of ICT initiatives, investors should be enabled by ensuring their direct participation during its conceptualization, planning and implementation. These sectors have the role as well to provide investments, capitals and other resources. By this the project for the ICT sector will be higher change of success and sustainability if these are market-led, rather than government-led.
Let us not also forget the LGUs, schools and other community organizations, they must be consulted and their specific requirements are determined. They as well have an active involvement to the operations in building the ICT of our country on their own respective area of jurisdiction.
Many of us today use the Internet for a variety of reasons: e-mailing to connect with friends and family, for business and work correspondence, web-browsing for news, research and entertainment, and increasingly for richer media and applications, such as watching online TV, posting videos and photos, as well as creating Internet content through blogs and other interactive forum. Being able to use the Internet has become an important necessity to any social and work life.
For many different reasons, there are also many Filipinos who are not able to access the benefits the Internet has to offer. Some cannot afford the Internet or computers; others do not know how to use the Internet; and there are parts of the country where there is no Internet service or even electricity available, such as in more rural areas. Not only is the possibility and ability to use the Internet important for individuals, but also for countries as a whole. In our globalized world, the connectedness and Internet capabilities of a country are important elements for its competitiveness.
Developing the Internet, including to rural areas, leads to new opportunities for nonagricultural employment, better paying agricultural jobs and greater overall productivity. Access to the Internet also promotes small and microbusiness growth, allows people in remote areas to work from home, offers greater access to crop market prices and enables rural businesses perhaps to compete more successfully even in the world markets. As far as I can say creating Internet opportunities for all guarantees that the Philippines has an inclusive growth and helps eliminate poverty.