Notes from Day 2 of the 1st Philippine Internet Governance Colloquium

A not-so-earnest effort at live-blogging Day 2 of the conference. Look for event tweets by following #NetGovPH and #PHInternet on Twitter.

Session on Policies on Ipv5, IP Peering, Cloud Computing Government’s Cloud-First Policy

  • Cloud computing is up first. Speaker talked about Department Circular No. 2017–002 and the rollout of the policy.
  • This Circular governs the Government’s cloud-first policy. It encourages the Government to consider cloud as the preferred ICT-deployment strategy.
  • GovCloud is a “public service cloud infrastructure” provided by the DICT for government agencies. Cloud providers must be accredited by the DICT to be able to provide services to government agencies and GOCCs.
  • Government institutions will retain full control and ownership over their data.
  • How can government be more efficient in doing/rolling out ICT projects: Maybe there could be special treatment of ICT infra purchases in procurement laws. ASTI gets assessed so much customs duties for donations of equipment abroad.
  • Government is just setting up the cloud infrastructure to enable more private enterprises to engage with Government to use cloud.
  • Panelist Bayani Lara mentioned that GovCloud is an initial step toward enabling government agencies to access each other’s data. This will solve problem of silos of government databases. However, moderator Wyn Yu pointed out possible privacy issues in sharing data.
  • We need to make the Philippine hosting market attractive enough to convince content providers to host here.
  • Check out www.submarinecablemap.com to see how submarine cables bypass the Philippines, landing instead in Taiwan, HK, etc.
  • PHOpenIX has 59 directly-peered ASNs, with around 50gig of traffic in 2017. (For comparison, HKIX is doing around 800gig right now.)

Session on the Startup Ecosystem

  • Science- and technology-based enterprises are globally-scalable.
  • Technopreneurship 101 is a subject developed for engineering programs in the country. This was developed in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education.
  • Technopreneurship hubs will also be put up in various universities nationwide.
  • SEEDPH aims to promote entrepreneurship in the Philippines. One of the major initiatives is the Philippine Startup Challenge. Most of the winners of the winners come from Visayas and Mindanao.
  • Tina Amper of Techtalks.ph says that bad internet makes things difficult but it is not a show-stopper in building tech startups in the Philippines. However, software developers will be forced to make apps that are more robust: they will work despite bad internet.
  • The Philippine economy cannot grow as fast as everyone else if it is hobbled with bad internet. The people of the community should also have a say on this.

Session on eGovernance and Online Services

  • (I wasn’t able to listen closely to this session.)
  • Bob Reyes of Mozilla asks the panel whether Government has plans to require open web standards, e.g., government websites will no longer require a specific browser in order for websites to render correctly. DICT mentions AO 39, which already prescribes standards and templates for government websites. However, he noted that, to date, a lot of agencies are still not following.

Session on Online Education and Remote Collaboration

  • Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan talks about the Health Informatics course she teaches on the UP College of Medicine’s graduate program. She explains that she calls herself a network facilitator and not just a teacher.
  • Beyond Access is reviving public libraries in the Philippines. Not all public libraries in the Philippines have internet access or even a computer. Some of the public libraries that Beyond Access has partnered with also serve as co-working spaces for people in the community (This is a great idea!).
  • Tech4ED is the DICT’s digital inclusion project in the communities.

Session on Gender Mainstreaming and Women in ICT

  • Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) states that access of women to the Internet should be looked at. Do women have access to the Internet? Can they afford it, especially the housewives who do not have their own income?
  • DICT notes the following are the concerns of women in ICT: gender digital divide, malicious dating sites/mail-order-bride sites, pornography and voyeurism. They also show stats saying that Internet use in the Philippines is dominated by men.
  • In accessing ICT, women prefer to discover new technology from family and friends. This is because they have less time to do it themselves because of multiple responsibilities.
  • Naty Pilipina, a community organizer, notes that the issue is not just technology but how communities are given the chance to use the Internet and participate. She notes that a very small number of people in rural communities are able to express themselves online.
  • She expresses her fear that they will be left behind in the advance of technology. Ms. Pilipina emphasizes that people in the communities have something to contribute online and so they should have a voice.
  • Ms. Pilipina asks how can women and children participate and yet also be protected against online abuse?
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