The Neglected Advantage of “Internet” And the
“Infinite” Promise of Improved Cyber Services in the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
In the Philippines, it is obvious that the IT (information technology) is generally limited to the use of cellphone and facebook. The national government keeps on promising about the modernization of the “internet system” for the Philippines to be at par with other Asian countries with fast and cheap cost of cyber service providers, but the pronouncements have remained a promise because of greed and corruption. There is news about the entry of a “third party” but when will the Filipinos feel its presence? As with commodities and other services, especially, the basic ones such as rice, tobacco, electricity and water, the field of information technology has also gone into the basket of greed called “monopoly” encouraged by the seemingly innate corrupt character of many government officials.
The Philippines, despite her being a “third world country”, is already technologically equipped, even how meager these equipment may be. But due to corruption, in some LGUs, while documents show that computer units have been purchased, they are nowhere to be found. Worse, if ever some Barangays are lucky to have been provided with them, they become “typewriters” ONLY due to the absence of signal, hence, not fully utilized.
Another issue is on the lack of proper orientation of the concerned on how the “internet” can be fully utilized for the benefit of the LGUs and interested parties. The “internet” is the system that keeps the cyberspace alive. The world has practically become dependent on it for just anything from show business gossips to sensitive and supposedly confidential securityswinformation of nations. Travelers browse through its travel pages for information about places, food, hotels, etc. Students download information from it for their projects and thesis.
The “internet” is the world’s archival system of information… the web of information highways connecting peoples and nations. This glaring fact has been neglected by many Philippine LGUs as again, their computers have become “typewriters”…not connected to the cyber world, part of which is their “head office” or their Municipal or City Hall . Many LGus are already contented for having an “internal archive” in their offices, as instead of hard copies of memos, reports, being printed and filed in the filing cabinet, all that the clerk does is push the “save” on the keyboard and the work is done!
Another oversight is on the lack of important information on the LGU’s total scope of coverage, especially, historical data. For instance, although, all the barangays are listed in the internet site of their town or city, many of them do not have a site of their own. And worse, although listed, there are no historical data…just current statistics on the area, population and list of officials without accompanying photos of these personalities. How can those be informative? The LGUs are supposed to have “information offices”, but the question is..are they conducting researches to collect information right from the field to establish an historical archive?
My suggestion is for these information offices to gather first-hand information by taking photos of anything interesting in their community, conduct interview of old folks for historical information, etc., and upload these for archiving in their computers ready for downloading or quick access of visiting researchers and tourists.
The towns and cities should have their own archive for each barangay, and the information shared with the sites of the latter which are technologically ill-equipped. Information should not be limited to visuals or photos of fiestas and social gatherings, oath taking, etc., as well as, mere statistics which are required of them in the first place, but also extensively written dissertations….essays, studies, gathered proposals, etc. It is not duplication of job, but “enhancement” to what the other offices are doing. This effort shall indicate COOPERATION which many LGUs lack as this expectation is oftentimes overshadowed by COMPETITION among offices which from all angles can be viewed as very unhealthy and viciously unproductive to the detriment of the LGU as a whole.