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ICT 2007 Keynote Speech


Below is the keynote delivered by General Serge Remonde on behalf of President GMA. I typed the whole thing from hard copy. Interesting things to note would be the mention of Bayanihan Linux rollout, the eLibrary project and the information network via an open exchange network via the Internet.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is unale to join us today. She has sent me instead to give the foreign delegates a warm welcome to the Philippines and to the Filipino entrepreneurs her deepest appreciation for furthering the growth and development of ICT in the Philippines, in the following message. – PMS Director General Serge Remonde

Competition for ICT and BPO investments has gone global, and, as one of the four most desirable outsourcing destinations in the world, Southeast Asia is in the think of the fight. However, in the context of the next three days we hope to chart a course that would transform the rest of Asia including Southeast Asia, as the world’s premier ICT investment destination and outsourcing center.

I would like to congratulate the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and the Industry for gathering together ICT leaders and key stakeholders to examine the industry’s opportunities and threats, and explore means of sustaining and accelerating Asia’s growth as the global ICT destination of choice.

I would also like to commend the two departments of government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Trade and Industry, for supporting the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in organizing Cebu ICT 2007.

Just as government and private sector are partners in the growth of our economy and the development of our nation, so are we partners in the growth and developmet of our ICT industry. By the end of my term in 2010, the ICT industry is expected to generate one million jobs and US$12 billion in revenue which are attainable if we will continue to work together for the next three years.

On our part, we have created the Cyber Corridor which cuts across all super regions form Baguio to Cebu to Davao. This Cyber Corridor will boost our telecommunications, technology and education as well as our competitiveness.

Several science and technology projects have been implemented in the Cyber Corridor through the Department of Science and Technology. Allow me to name six:

First is the Disaster Mitigation through Enhanced Forecasts Using Numerical Prediction Products and Satellite Data, which is a cluster computing solution built by the PAGASA for a fraction of the price to replace their old supercomputers to provide timely and accurate forecasts based on the newest meteorological models.

Second in the Open Source and Low Cost Computing Program, which develops and delivers alternative and low cost systems applications to government agencies, schools and small businesses to reduce their dependency on proprietary software. One of its desktop solutions, Bayanihan Linux 4.0 was launched this year.

Third is the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network, which serves as the Philippines’ only research and education network with links to international research and development networks, such as the Asia Pacific Advanced Network, the Asian Internet Interconnection Initiative and the TransEurasia Information Network 2. One of its milestones is the launching of the Philippine Open Internet Exchange for IPv4 and IPv6 this year.

Fourth is the PAGASA Interactive Climate and Weather Information Network, which includes the rehabilitation of the radar system to strengthen PAGASA’s information and communication system, and the acquisition of the required hardware and the development of the required software for field stations.

Fifth is the Test Analysis and Calibration Information System. This project refers to the computerization of the laboratory operations and management through the use of information systems.

And the sixth is an Electronic Library. This project integrates current libraries into a single network system to standardize services and provide wider information databases that is available and accessible to all individuals and qualified users with Phil e-Lib prepaid cards.

However we understand that we cannot increase our competitiveness if we cannot create a deep pool of certified knowledge workers. As a response, Government, through the Department of Science and Technology, has implemented the comprehensive MS and PhD scholarship program aimed at accelerating the production of high level human resources needed for Science and technology activities particularly in the areas of research and development, innovation and ICT.

Moreover, the Cyber Education Project of the Department of Education, which was approved this year, aims to improve delivery of quality basic education services through the use of ICT.

So much can be accomplished in three days, especially if all the leaders and key stakeholders of the ICt industry here will signify their role in Asia’s growth and development as the world’s premier ICT investment destination and outsourcing center.

In this regard, I would like to challenge the Filipino delegates to lead the identification of a niche in the ICT industry towards which we will direct all our ICT efforts. I would also like to challenge all the delegates to promote Southeast Asia as an important center for IT enabled services and outsourced ICT and ITES, and provide standards for regional certification.

Let us make Cebu ICT 2007 truly a landmark event, not just for delegates but for future generations who will benefit from our collaboration.

Maraming Salamat at Mabuhay Kayong Lahat!

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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