Arroyo: IT hubs ‘good second best’ to botched NBN
MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said government’s plan to establish an information and communications technology hub in every province is a “good second best” to the botched national broadband network (NBN) project.
Arroyo reiterated her directive for the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) to study the feasibility of setting up a technology hub, capable of hosting a call center at the very least, in every province as she launched the University of the Philippines-Ayala Land Techno Hub in Quezon City on Friday.
“The national government, with the CICT, shall guide the LGUs [local government units] concerned on how to pursue the technology programs with these twin objectives — number one, develop a technology hub…and second, expand the capabilities of provinces that are already ICT enablers so they can increase their absorptive capacity and expand into hardcore ICT operations,” she said in her speech.
“Each [local government] to his own need and this is what we can do given that we have not been able to put together a national broadband, this is a good second bets,” she said.
“In the ICT jargon, we need to wire the entire country to attract more BPO [business process outsourcing] and hardcore technology companies and help train young Filipinos into world class workers in programming, embedded technologies and network engineering,” she said.
Arroyo cancelled the government’s $329-million contract with China’s ZTE Corp. for the National Broadband Network (NBN) project after it was tainted with allegations of overpricing and bribery. The controversy has spawned an impeachment complaint that Congress is hearing.
Constructed on UP’s idle properties across Commonwealth Avenue, the Techno Hub will host BPO and other technology firms. The President said it would be the country’s “foremost IT laboratory, training ground, and incubator.”
“The UP-Ayala Land techno hub is one giant step to bring the country closer to the goal we declared in 2001 of making technology the foundation of our economic development,” she said.
“As [Ayala Land President] Jimmy Ayala said, we can now create our own version of Stanford University’s Sillicon Valley and MIT’s Route 128, the birthplace of so much research that has changed lives and lifestyles,” she said.
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