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PIA Press Release

Arroyo years saw dramatic surge of RP ICT sector

Manila (29 June) -- Many milestones in the country's information, communication and technology (ICT) sector have been achieved under the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the national commission that pursues ICT buildup in the country.

Ray Anthony Chua, Chairman of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) who holds the rank of cabinet secretary, said yesterday at a news briefing in Malacanang that the Arroyo years were undoubtedly a period of unprecedented developments in ICT."

Among the milestones achieved under the President's watch according to Chua, was the historic automated national elections last May which has been long planned as a priority project of the outgoing Chief Executive.

The country's first automated polls, Chua said, modernized the country's electoral process and ensured credibility in the results.

"In general it was a very successful automated election where results were delivered with speed and results made available on the day of the exercise. This brought credibility to a process much-maligned in the past," he said.

Another achievement, according to Chua, was the dramatic surge of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector which has been a major contributor to economic development as the industry chipped in more than US $7 billion in export revenues last year.

Chua said that from 2,000 employees in the year 2000, Philippine BPO employment grew tremendously to about 500,000 at present.

He pointed out that the country has already made a name for itself as one of the leaders in ICT after the national outsourcing association in the United Kingdom named the Philippines as the "off-shoring destination of the year" for the second time last year.

"Now we are seen as the number 2 player in the world next to India which is something for a country of our size and our level of development," Chua said.

In terms of technology use in education, Chua said that one of the most important initiatives of the President is to computerize all 6,000 public highs schools in the country. He said that the government to date has already placed computer laboratories in 5,000 schools with about 4,000 equipped with internet connectivity.

Chua said that the country today has 70 million mobile subscribers compared to 6 million users in 2000. "Practically every Filipino has a mobile phone," Chua said.

He also highlighted that 24 million people in the country already have access to internet, buttressing CICT's mandate to provide the technology for every Filipino. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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