UN Official Lauds ITECC's Preliminary Action Plan for an Information Society

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Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ

The United Nations resident coordinator in Manila has lauded the effort made by the Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (ITECC) led by chairman Virgilio Pena in coming up with the preliminary Philippine action plan for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

UN resident coordinator Rafaello Tarroni said that the objectives of the WSIS action plan are to build an inclusive information society, promote the use of information and knowledge for the achievement of internally-agreed development goals and address the new challenges of the information society.

"The use of IT is playing a vital role in the development of peoples lives," said Tarroni as he noted that the information and communication technology (ICT) as the fastest growing industry in the United States and Europe and in the Philippines.

Addressing the Philippine Summit on the Information Society, Tarroni has also cited the Philippines large pool of IT skills and English-speaking people and the fast-growing contact center industry.

However, he suggested that more must be done to further improve financial access for the IT industry and intensive marketing campaign to promote the countrys business process outsourcing.

The WSIS to be held in Tunisia in November 2005 aims to enhance better understanding on ICTs impact to the international communities.

Spearheaded by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the WSIS will be participated by heads of states, ICT leaders, and non-government organizations worldwide.

"The Philippines hopes to come up with the Philippine plan of action on information society this year," says NTC deputy commissioner Jorge Sarmiento.

During the conference in Geneva last year, the WSIS had declared its common desire and commitment to build a people-oriented, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving quality of life.

The vision of Information Society will be realized in the cooperation and solidarity by the governments and all other stakeholders throughout the world.

Based on the internationally-agreed development goals, each country including the Philippines would come up with an action plan based on the national targets by 2015.

These targets include to connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points; connect universities, colleges and secondary schools and primary schools with ICTs; connect scientific and research centers with ICTs; connect public libraries, cultural centers, museums, post offices and archives with ICTs; connect health centers and hospitals with ICTs. …