The importance of developing information and communications technology (ICT) in the country to enhance its global competitiveness said Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.).
Gordon, in his keynote address at the 7th Youth Congress in Information Technology, said information technology (IT) would equalize the opportunities for people and give voice even to the most marginalized sectors.
"Napakahalaga ng computer industry sa panahon ngayon. IT will equalize the opportunities for people. That is what IT will bring to all of us. It will enable and ennoble the people. Magkakaroon tayo ng boses," he said at the annual conference organized by the University of the Philippines Information Technology Training Center .
"Speed and information are the names of the game. Kung mabagal tayo, matatalo tayo ng ibang mga bansa, mapag-iiwanan tayo," he added.
Recognizing the importance of IT in the country's development, the senator co-sponsored Senate Bill 2546, which proposes to create a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The DICT shall serve as the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government that will plan, promote and help develop the country's ICT sector.
Gordon explained that the DICT would maximize the country's gains on the IT sector. He added that he has used modern communications technology in the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), which paved the way for faster and more efficient delivery of relief services.
For some years now, the PNRC, which he chairs, has been using mobile phones as early warning system, reaction system, and initial life-saving system during emergencies.
In line with his modernization programs for the PNRC, Gordon launched the Red Cross 143 and created an Operations Center equipped with computers and televisions. The operations center is also connected to all PNRC chapters for prompt response to emergencies.
The senator also said that modern communications technology could be an effective tool in promoting democracy, particularly through the computerization of the 2010 Elections.
Gordon, father of election modernization in the Philippines and author of Republic Act 9369 (Amended Automated Election System Law), said that poll automation will not only elevate the country's electoral exercise from third world to world-class but also bring credibility to the elections system and in the leaders of the country.