Saturday, December 24, 2005

Presentations and Photos Uploaded: One Internet Day

Our sincerest thanks to all who supported the One Internet Day event last December 16. Here are the presentation materials in relation to the said event.

Check out the photos taken at the event as well.

My sincerest thanks to Abby Ongyanco for the kind feedback she has given about the event.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Philippines #23 in 2006 Waseda University e-Government Ranking

The Waseda University Institute of e-Government has released the result of its recently concluded 2006 Waseda University e-Government Ranking. The Philippines ranked #23 out of 32 countries evaluated in the study.

Prof. Toshio Obi, Director of the Institute noted that the survey this year covered more countries, and added new categories that characterize an ideal

A total of 32 countries (economies) were surveyed in this project. The top ten e-government in the ranking came from (1) USA, (2) Canada, (3) Singapore, (4) Japan, (5) Korea, (6) Germany, (7) Taiwan, (8) Australia, (9) United Kingdom, and (10) Finland.

Areas surveyed in the e-government of each country included:

1) Network Preparedness
The foundations of e-government such as Internet users, Broadband users, Cellular phone users, PC users and Security system have been well established, while the gap between the advanced countries and developing countries is getting closer. Concerning the infrastructure of information technology, countries (economies) such as United States, Canada, Finland, Korea, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan are doing well with high level of network infrastructure.

I believe that the Philippines is lagging behind on this one because of our poor tracking of country's growth. The big gap on the number of mobile phone users (33 million) versus Internet users (11.2 million) versus number of computers (2 million) do not sum up properly. This is despite the fact that hardly any effort is exerted to push for mobile phone growth.

The lack of funding and resources given to our law enforcement authorities to establish a cybercrime program gives a clear picture as to how e-security is regarded in the country.

2)Required Interface-Functioning Applications
Concerning Required Interface-functioning Applications, Online applications, e-tender system, e-tax system, e-voting system, e-payment system, and user-friendly interface, were examined. As a result, each country introduces online applications with aggressive approach, while other countries that do not have such systems yet will introduce it in the near future. The user-friendly applications of e-governments are required to attract the citizens’ interest. In terms of e-voting, most countries do not have the concrete plan to promote it.

The Philippines still has to develop a national e-tender system. The country's e-procurement site only provides posting of opportunities, no e-bidding yet. Our e-tax system is not yet friendly enough to small enterprises and freelance professionals. Whether we'll be able to implement an e-voting system remains to be seen. Most e-government sites today hardly undertook any usability study or consultation, worst no guidelines, to ensure that this is what the stakeholders want.

For an e-payment system, the government still has to develop, through the Bureau of Treasury, how can government agencies accept electronic payments. Same day inter-bank fund transfer is far from reality. However, there's a possibility that this can come true of government resources such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' PhilPass will be used down to the consumer level as well.

3) Management optimization
It is important for e-governments to optimize the whole administrative works using high-level applications, systematically and effectively. Under this consideration, EA EICT investment, System optimization, Integrated network system are promoted mainly by the advanced countries while the countries which are ranked low in the research also progress in Administrative and budgetary systems, and Public management reform by ICT as well. Therefore, it can be said that, at this point in time, the difference in terms of e-government establishment between advanced and some developing countries are getting ambiguous.

In the Philippines, the lack of an e-government plan makes management optimization far from reality. However, there's hope that this will be done next year and possibly realign all initiatives today.

4) Homepage
Homepage situation, Updating frequency, Public disclosure, Link navigation system, Multi-language correspondence were analyzed. Currently, many countries update or renew their homepage on a daily basis. However, on the multi-language correspondences, very few countries translate their websites from their official and native languages to other identified by the United Nations (UN), namely, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and French. Websites of countries such as United Kingdom, United States, the Philippines, and Singapore, use only English, their official language. For European countries, it is necessary that at least two languages, namely English and French are used. However, not all complied with this requirement. Even in Latin America and Asia, not all websites from these two regions have an English version.

Before translating to any other language, perhaps the Philippines should first have all government websites in the national language vernacular. They must be required as well to update their websites on a daily basis as they mostly have communications group that can easily do the job if they wanted to.

5) CIO
The designation of chief information officers (CIO) in the government is seen as a very vital strategy to bridge the gap between management and technology. Thus, the introduction and training of CIOs are very important for the success of e-government. Some countries have the same position with the same capacity but different titles. Though, the title CIO is becoming very important since there are growing international collaboration in support of CIO human resource development. In this area, indicators that were evaluated included Introduction of CIO, HRD, Human Resource Development, for CIO, Supporting body for CIO, Role and function of CIO.

The Philippines has the CIO role through IT heads of government agencies, the National Computer Center, and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology. What is needed to date is to have an ICT knowledge requirement to all future cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors, and managers. I believe it is easier to teach ICT to an agriculture specialist than the other way around.


6) Promotion of e-government
Promotion of e-government is measured using the following indicators: Priority of e-Government Planning and Strategy, Promotion Activities, Legal Framework, and Evaluation System. This is an added area in measuring e-government, to the previous ranking, which looked into the strategies of prioritizing e-government as part of a country’s national strategy; activities that promote e-government; passage or amendments of laws that provide the legal mandate; and self-assessment efforts. According to this research, many countries place e-government at the core of the national strategy. However, some still lack the legal framework for e-government.

The Philippines, I hope, will have this area resolved once we have a national e-government program with corresponding metrics to evaluate its success and return on investment.

2nd Waseda University World ranking on e-Government 2006
1. United States
2. Canada
3. Singapore
4. Japan
5. Korea
6. Germany
7. Taiwan
8. Australia
9. United Kingdom
10. Finland
11. Hong Kong
12. Sweden
13. Norway
14. Malaysia
15. Belgium
16. The Netherlands
17. Thailand
18. France
19. New Zealand
20. Italy
21. Brazil
22. Chile
23. The Philippines
24. Spain
25. Mexico
26. South Africa
27. Brunei
28. China
29. Indonesia
30. Peru
31. Russia
32. Vietnam

The institute will continue monitoring and evaluating the development of e-government worldwide, as a way to contribute to the development of e-government worldwide, a tool for promoting the development of an information society, reinforcing international competitive power as well as strongly supporting citizen’s lives.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

December 16: One Internet Day: Empowering Citizens Through Technology

This December 16, DigitalFilipino.com will be celebrating One Internet Day at the Penthouse of the Board of Investments, Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City from 1 pm to 6 pm.

We are fortunate to have great individual and corporate club members who did not hesitate in giving back to the community by sharing their knowledge.

The event is FREE and open to the public. Details on how to register can be found below.

Program:
12:00 - 1:15 Registration
1:15 - 1:30 Keynote
1:30 - 1:50 Environmental Analysis: B2C E-Commerce in the Philippines (Anna Mendoza)
1:50 - 2:10 PinoyDelikasi.com: E-Commerce Lessons Learned (Jovel Cipriano)
2:10 - 2:30 Launch of payFree, Electronic Payment for FREE! (Erick Kalugdan, Load.com.ph)
2:30 - 2:50 State of Philippine Internet Security (Fernando Martirez III)
2:50 - 3:10 Lessons Learned in Internet Crime and Legal Cases (Atty. JJ Disini)
3:10 - 3:30 Introduction to Open Web Security Application Project (Adrian San Juan)
3:30 - 3:50 Lessons Learned in Community Building (Boogie Boydon)
3:50 - 4:50 The WSIS Awards Philippines winners recognition and sharing of experience (Josie Cacdac)
4:50 - 6:30 Networking, raffle, and exchange gift

There are two main highlights as well that shall take place during this event.
1. The launch of payFree: Electronic Payments for FREE! This is a service offered by Load.com.ph that will allow any of its members to accept payments online and apply as a prospective merchant.

2. Josie Cacdac who is the Philippines representative to the WSIS Awards Panel shall be returning to the country on this day and will give recognition to the winners of the WSIS Awards Philippines in 2003 and 2005. The awardees are:

2003 Winners

eBusiness - Pinoydelikasi.com
eCulture - Filipinas Heritage Library
eEntertainment - MrMusiko.com
eGovernment - OurBid.ph
eHealth - eHealth.ph
eInclusion - Isla.ph
eLearning - DigitalFilipino.com
eScience - none

2005 Winners

eBusiness - SME.com.ph
eCulture - Tsinoy.com
eEntertainment - OFW-TV
eGovernment - eCensus
eInclusion - B2bpricenow.com
eLearning - Regions of the Philippines (Region IV-A)
eScience - Philrice

The event is FREE and open to the public. To attend, please email the following to digitalfilipino@gmail.com

Name:
Email:
Company:
Position:
Address:
Phone:
Fax:
Website:

Those who would like to hang their streamers at this event and be given a table space where you can distribute flyers, show demos, are requested to sign up as a corporate member of the DigitalFilipino.com Club.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

Website Feature: FwendZ

Another local community website on the rise is Davao-made FwendZ.com. It is an online social community website that allows its members to properly organize their relationships with each other.

FwendZ members can view each others' profiles, communicate with old friends and meet new friends on the service, share photos, post journals and comments, and describe their interests.

The person behind Fwendz is the first Davao-based Philippine Web Awards winner, Chris Cubos of IDS-Media.

I believe that each community website is unique in a sense that there different active people in each one of them. Social networking has really taken us all on and can easily overwhelm us. However, that is where we have to plan and figure out how we can maximize the use of each one of them.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Website Feature: UniVOICEsal Productions - PODWORX!

Our website feature of the day is Univoicesal Productions. This company is one of the youngest audio productions and sound designing company in the country today.

For the month of October, the company has produced two podcast. Check them out and listen to their Unicast episodes.

I think what makes them different is that this company is serious in producing high-quality and very professional podcast. Podcasting is very much new and it will take time before this new medium takes off.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Website Feature: Swambi Incorporated

Our website feature for today is Swambi Incorporated. This site bagged the recent Katha Best Website Award at the Manila F.A.M.E. International.

The product photos were done so beautifully that can really make any Filipino proud. This site is a toast for Filipino high-quality export furniture. Its simplicity, being easy to browse, and substantive made this site really great.

Cheers to you Swambi!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Call for support: Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006

We are currently inviting companies to sponsor or support the Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006 as we kicked off our Regional Competition last August and will be launching the National Competition this November.

Just buy 100 copies of the Philippine Internet Review: 10 Years of Internet History (1994-2004) for thirty-four thousand pesos (P34,000) and you are automatically a sponsor for the Philippine Schools Cyberfair 2006 regional and national competition. (Please make all checks payable to Posh Marketing Services.)

As a sponsor, you shall be entitled to the following:

  • Recognize your company as a donor in one of the Cyberfair categories and levels (8 categories and 3 levels).
  • Present or deliver a talk or topic during the Cyberfair student convention or teacher training.
  • Have your streamer posted and flyers given out during the Cyberfair student convention and 5-days teacher training. (December for regional level and April for national level)
  • Have your company listed as sponsor in the Philippine Schools CyberFair website.
  • Have your banner ad (468x60) posted at DigitalFilipino.com

We hope this request will merit the interest of companies.

For the growth of relevant Internet use and e-commerce in the Philippines!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Website Feature: Resources for the Blind

The website of the Resources for the Blind is one true demonstration as to how the Internet can help NGO groups in promoting their advocacy. With blindness as the leading disability in the Philippines, every Filipino must be concerned. As we get older, one way or another, we will have disabilities that we have to cope up with, whether we like it or not.

Resources for the Blind is one of the leading organizations who are helping the blind through their various programs. I got to feature them in the past for their Computer Eyes program, in partnership with various entities like IBM Philippines. I got the chance to write about them as well in my column and for the APECTel - Philippines Perspective on ICT Accessibility.

The Computer Eyes project got featured in the Philippine Internet Review as well.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Website Feature: PinoyTopBlogs.com

With so many Philippine websites coming out, I decided to start using this blog to feature them. Your comment on the websites featured here will be very much appreciated.

To start off, our first website feature is PinoyTopBlogs.com. This website of Abe Olandres gives bloggers an opportunity to have their blogs posted in the PinoyTopBlogs.com listing. Just logon to the site and create an account.

From there, you'll be able to add your website and get the needed HTML code to have the PinoyTopBlogs.com button in your website. Once in, your website traffic gets monitored and get listed or ranked according to it.

I guess those who joins the site are not there to be on a top or low spot, it is just a free publicity for blogs which is just great. Check it out!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Philippine Internet Review book 2

We are currently in the process in preparing for the book 2 of the Philippine Internet Review. Publishing the first issue was a big challenge. As we were not able to capture everything, we've decided to push for the 2nd edition recognizing e-government initiatives, blogging, gaming, and the influence of mobile phone to Internet infrastructure usage growth.

If you have not done so, buy a copy today of the Philippine Internet Review. Your support is very much appreciated.

Ideas and contributions are more than welcome!
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