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PIA Press Release
2007/10/25

Stronger ICT can solve corruption, says CICT chair

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (25 October) -- Newly-appointed chair of the Commission on Information, Communication Technology (CICT) Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III pressed that a stronger ICT in the country can solve corruption.

In his recent visit in this city for the 6th Mindanao ICT Congress and 1st BIMP-EAGA ICT Conference the official announced that his office is now pushing for the better implementation of the programs under the e-Government to curb corruption in the government sector.

"It's a matter of automating our systems so that we could practice transparency in the government offices," he said.

Now handling the e-Government fund which is about P1 billion per year, the CICT identifies key government offices to be given priority for automation.

He explained that it was supposed to be the problem addressed by the National Broadband Network Project which was not pushed through due to the alleged corruption involved.

Chua stressed that if not with the issues that cropped up leading to the cancellation of the project, "that could have connected, automated, and systematized our government offices which we believe is important in setting transparency in the government."

Even without the NBN, the CICT still continues in strengthening ICT in the government. The said commission is now handling the e-Government fund which is about P1 billion per year, the CICT identifies key government offices to be given priority for automation.

The CICT also takes responsibility for the election automation which is targeted to operate in 2010.His office is tasked to carefully weigh which kind of automation is best for the country given two choices which are the Optical Mark Recorder or the direct recording.

The former may not be considered full-automation as the voters would still use the paper and pen in voting; while direct recording is relying all the job to the machine itself. However, the direct recording machines are too costly which is why the CICT needs to study on its pros and cons.

"We are to conduct a scientific study on which kind of machine is best. We are expected to come out with a technical evaluation second quarter of next year," Chua added.

After the evaluation, the same office would also lead in the testing, deployment, and user education about the new technology. (PIA XI) [top]

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