Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cebu: The ICT Capital of the Philippines

Cebu City as we all know, is the queen city of the south. The home of the famous Sinulog fiesta, dangit and beaches. Today, Cebu offers more than that and is going beyond as it surge to the next level and making its wave in the 21st century as it transformed itself into a new hub for ICT. Cebu is now a famous venue for an International Conferences and recently, host to the first International Philippine Open Source Summit that PinoyExplorer had attended last July 23-24, 2008. This time, It reunites all IT practioners who advocate on the use open source softwares.

"Open source” refers to software or application whose users need no license to operate or use. Open source is not popular in the Philippines and one of the summit's aim is to unite its supporters and spread the news about it. CICT Chairman Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua also supported the campaign and looking forward for a government and private sectors cooperation in propagating open source awareness among Filipinos and use it as alternative against proprietary software. He pointed out during his speech at the Plenary Hall of Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) the government had also choosen the open source software when it implements ICT projects such as the e-Governance, iSchool and eSkwela projects. Private institutions, NGO's and universities were already starting to use open source software in the development of their own projects. One good project was the initiative being done by Vibal Foundation in opening educational resources over the internet. Their projects such as the WikiPilipinas, an open encyclopedia,, a digital library, Philippine Online Chronicles (POC), free news resource for new breed of readers and currently the E-turo project which provide teacher's and learner's resource materials for free were running using open source softwares.

With these development in IT, Cebu moves forward through the leadership of the Summit organizer by planning to organize an organization that will finally unite all open source practitioners and developers. This organization shall represents the country and make a mark in the International open source community.

For your information, Philippines becomes the 7th in the outsourcing business. Cebu is now taking the lead and pushing its initial initiative to put the Philippines in the map of another area of information technology. No wonder that every time I went to Cebu's IT park to treat myself a brewed coffee, I saw group of yuppies coming back and forth from those newly established high rise buildings in the vicinity on the rush or taking their breaks. Some of them works in the outsourcing business and some in the software development companies. This is also shows that Cebu is becoming the new hub for more foreign investors and a lot of business related projects that would help our own economy.

Cebu's CICC now becomes the symbol of a new economy in the southern part of the Philippines. With this particular event and by recognizing that Open Source is one huge wave of the future in the field of ICT, the CCCI now turns its focus to bring together the world-renowned players of various global Open Source initiatives.

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