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PIA Press Release

Microsoft eyes Internet Cafe Summit in Cebu

Cebu City (29 September) -- Microsoft Philippines plans to organize an Internet Café Summit in Cebu soon.

According to Microsoft Southern Philippines sales operations director Boy Bawal, it aims to strengthen the Internet Café sector in southern Philippines, gathering the close to 2,000 Internet Café operators in this region.

The summit, which will aim to address the pressing problems faced by the Internet Café owners, is one of the flagship projects to be undertaken by Microsoft, as it recently established its Southern Philippines operations, with headquarters, based in Cebu.

Though with no specific summit date yet, Bawal said there are three top concerns of the Internet Café industry that need to be addressed includes effective management cash flow; access to financing; and hourly rental rates.

"We want to help the Internet Café industry because it is something unique for the Philippines. Also, this industry serves as the common training ground for the majority of Filipinos to familiarize with information technology," Bawal said.

Microsoft's physical presence through the establishment of its office in Cebu, to oversee the entire Southern Philippines market, is a manifestation of the Bill Gates-led company's recognition as huge revenue contributor.

Initially, Bawal had been able to touch base with the Internet Café industry in major cities in VisMin, like Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao.

He said there are a lot of opportunities wherein Microsoft could help the industry, especially in helping them to get licensing, in n easier payment scheme.

He noted that the role of Internet Café in the community is very important, thus a close partnership with the operators and Local Government Units (LGUs) must be intensified.

The summit, he said is expected to identify problems of Internet Café industry, as well as forge closer coordination between the LGUs so that the industry will be given ultimate attention.

"We would like to showcase the best practices of Internet Café's in the south," Bawal said.

In Davao, for instance, he said an ordinance was passed to set the floor of rental rate per hour among Internet Café outlets.

Close monitoring of responsible Internet Café operations must be also highlighted, so that illegal activities must be avoided such as pornography in web, virtual prostitution, among others. (PIA/gfg) [top]

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