This article will discuss in general the importance and role of ICT in the Philippines. ICT plays a very important role in the development of any country. In terms of profession, people who are into this field enjoys and abundance in opportunities and financial advantage as well. Many jobs related to ICT are well-paid. Though the Philippines is a third-world country, it is not a hindrance for people who utilize and enjoy the benefits that ICT brings.
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What is ICT
First, we have to define what ICT means. It stands for Information and Communication Technology. It is the collection or set of tools which are used to communicate, create, distribute, store and process information. Some of the technologies, specifically telecommunications techniques involves in this set include computers, internet, broad-casting, telephony and other technologies which can be use to handle communication of information. Many people considers it the same as with Information Technology or IT, but ICT is on a bigger scope. It touches not only the principles of technology but science and engineering as well. With the aim to transmit information with men and machines.
Importance of ICT in the Philippines
Easy Exchange of Information anytime, Anywhere
With the use of computers, smartphones and the internet, exchanging information today has become fast and easy. For example, we do not have anymore to rely solely on television or the radio for our need for daily news and wordwide events update. It can be done now through various platforms online. Additionally, we are not anymore limited as to when we can access these information. We can now do it anytime and anywhere we are thanks to computers, smartphones and the easily access of the internet these days.
How does this affect the Philippines in general? One of the most important effect of this easy exchange of information is we are not anymore left behind. The information made used by other countries for the government and for their people are now also accessible to people in the Philippines. We can now say that technology now is within our reach because ICT. However, in terms of utilizing it to the fullest, we are still somehow left behind by terms of high-end resources which can be freely used by people or government in first world countries.
Improved Filipino Education
In terms of education, its great today that ICT is now slowly being implemented in our education system
. Though there are still areas in the Philippines which are not reached by technology, it is great to see the effort of the government in bringing technology to this hard to reach places. Simply providing computer units to such areas is already a good start.
With the use of the internet, students are presented with recent information which brings a lot of advantages to their learning. We do not anymore rely solely on textbook which sadly in some cases show information which are not updated or in worse cases wrong details. Students are now being thought how to use emails to send a message to anywhere in the world. Being a “batang 90’s”, I could still remember that the first time I was able to touch a computer was when I was in my 1st year high school days which is now equivalent to grade7. Today, younger students are slowly being introduced to the use of computer in their learning and this helps a lot fuel their development. These younger generation will soon become the leaders and role-players of the community and if at an early age they are introduced on the different faces of ICT, they could certainly make a big difference in the future.
Easy and more Efficient Business Management
For businesses, it made various business transactions faster and more convenient for both the business owner and customers. Marketing efforts can now reach thousands of possible clients through the use of various social media platform. The best thing is it can be done for free. Additionally, if your business is on a constant growth, business data/information can easily be made available so it can be accessed on other branches you plan to put up. With the appropriate management software, data transfer and processing will not be a hassle for both medium and large businesses. In totality, ICT made it possible for businesses to grow without being stressed by the increasing number of data or information their business generates.
Improved Philippine Government Services
Government services also greatly improved due to the application of ICT. Government transactions are now less time consuming and more accurate due to the use of various computer systems to manage different government offices. With the use of the right technology to handle government data and information, the government in general becomes more productive. The society enjoyed a lot of benefits from transportation, health care services, improved police and military services for better security and a lot more. Today, it would be impossible for a country to develop without the use of ICT.
ICT Strengthens the Economy
Through ICT we can now have access to accurate knowledge and information about various things like the economy of developed countries. Government offices or officials can learn something about this valuable information. We are able to know what worked well for them and what we need to avoid in terms of laws and practices to implement. The economy is also strengthened by people coming up with different business ideas. ICT made this possible through the various knowledge presented to everyone these days.
Technology has definitely changed the way we lived and enjoy life for many years already. ICT as part of the general idea of technology played a significant role not only to first word countries but also to developing countries like the Philippines. This only shows that investment in devices related to ICT like smartphones, desktop computers and laptops have lots of benefits of offer. If you are still in the process of deciding whether to buy a laptop or not, now is the best time to push it through.
Additional Info about Philippines ICT
Internet Provider Philippines
The internet played a very important role in the use of technology or ICT in general in the Philippines. Below are the top Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the Philippines.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)
PLDT is one of the biggest and most popular internet service provider in the Philippines. It is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange which shows how big the company is. The business offers generally 2 type of services, the Wireless and Fix Line. The Wireless telecommunications services is provided by Smart Communications, Inc. or Smart, and Digital Mobile Philippines, Inc while Fixed line telecommunications services are primarily provided through PLDT.
Globe is also a top player in the internet service in the Philippines. Its principal shareholders are Ayala Corporation and Singtel. They do not only operate in the Philippines as they are also operational in over ten countries. It is also a member of the Bridge Alliance which is a leading mobile alliance in Asia Pacific.
The company prides of offering dependable and affordable internet and data product. But it only operates in limited locations namely Metro Manila, Baguio, Cavite, Laguna, Cebu and Batangas. They are ISO certified : ISO 9001:2008 certification.
Sky Cable Corporation celebrated its 25th anniversary last 2015 and continues to offer products that aims to satisfy their clients. It is important to note that Sky Corporation is a subsidiary of the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment company – ABS-CBN. Through SKYbroadband the company offers reliable, unlimited broadband connectivity, and mobile internet to every Filipino. Destiny Cable is now also operating under the Sky Cable Corporation.
Educational Technology in the Philippines
As mentioned earlier, it is good to know that the education system in the Philippines is now embracing technology and do not solely rely on book for student learning.
According to Adrian M. Reodique in the article “How DepEd is digitalising Philippines’ education sector” DepEd started a program called the Computerisation Computerisation Programme (DCP). The goal is to provide schools with the technological and IT devices they could use like computer packages. According to a press release, as of December 2016, a total of 53,785 DCP packages have been delivered to schools.
It is also worthy to mention the development of a Learning Resource portal where students will have access to digitised educatonal materials. This portal contains more than 4,000 learning resources which can be accessed as long as there is an internet connection. For areas that internet is not available, they could use the offline version of the portal.
Its also assuring to know that DepEd is on the pursuit to digitise textbooks then place all the information in the portal.
State of ICT Development in the Philippines
Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department House of Representatives
March 2016 (No. 11)
As stated by the data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICT access in the Philippines is done more using mobile phones than fixed telephone lines subscription and internet services.
Among the 6 selected ASEAN Member States, from Q1 2015 to Q3 2015, the Philippines is 2nd to the last in terms of Average Download Speed in (mbps) just above Indonesia. This is not the worst figure yet, it is also stated in the study in 2014, it was discovered that the largest internet provider in the Philippines offered the lowest value for the subscribers money in terms of the actual internet speed experienced by the customers in comparison to the cost of the internet service / product they offer.
This article expresses the opinion of the writer.