Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said President Benigno S. Aquino III’s government has adopted a five-year digital strategy to provide the Filipino people a reliable, affordable and secure information access in the Philippines.
Speaking at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) + 10 Review Event, High Level Panel: Towards Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development, held on February 25 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, Sec. Coloma underscored the need for every Filipino to have access to information and communication technology.
“The Philippine government has adopted a five-year digital strategy anchored upon this vision: A digitally empowered, innovative, globally competitive and prosperous society where everyone has reliable, affordable and secure information access in the Philippines. A government that practices accountability and excellence to provide responsive online citizen-centered services.
A thriving knowledge economy through public-private partnership,” Coloma said.
Coloma noted that the Aquino administration is currently implementing five strategies to provide service for the people in all matters concerning communications.
“Firstly, the development of e-Government is a priority in order to facilitate greater efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of basic social services and minimize opportunities for corruption,” he said.
Coloma said the government is also adopting the “strategy of digital inclusion and capacity building” to foster an enabling environment through a broadband policy that aims to reach previously unserved areas and customers.
He said the Philippines recently enacted a law that will protect women and children against the evils of human trafficking perpetrated through the internet.
“Thirdly, we are supporting the continued growth of the information and communication technology-driven business process outsourcing industry to provide opportunities for investment and jobs,” Coloma added.
“Fourth, the strategy of “investing in people” further promotes digital inclusion by addressing not only the needs of formal sectors, but also of marginalized communities,” Coloma said.
“Lastly, our strategy is anchored on continuing support to innovation, and on affordable development and deployment of information and communication technology not only in micro, small and medium enterprises but also in local governments,” he said.
Coloma likewise said the Philippine government is pleased to have participated in the crafting of the Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy in June 2012 under the auspices of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
“Our common task is to push further its frontiers into the propagation of Knowledge Societies that will bring about the attainment of the peace and sustainable human development,” he said.
The other speakers during the three-day global event are Mongi Marzoug, Minister of Information and Communications Technologies, Republic of Tunisia; Edmunds Sprudzs, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Republic of Latvia; Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, United States of America; Jose Clastornik, Executive Director of the Agencia de Gobierno Electronico y Sociedad de la Informacion, Republic of Uruguay; Michael Gurstein, Executive Director Centre for Community Informatics, Research, Development and Training, Canada; and Kathryn C. Brown, Senior Vice President for Public Policy Development & Corporate Social Responsibility, Verizon, United States of America.