Saturday, January 16, 2010

Resembling The National Labor Movement

The past week, I  had been to at least two (2) occasions where old friends and colleagues asked me what's getting me busy nowadays and, of course, I have to include I-Café Pilipinas in my answers. Their natural reactions were to ask me what I-Cafe Pilipinas is and my typical reply would be the recitation of the About Us content of this site. My description of what I-Café Pilipinas is, includes among others, its being an NGO (non-government organization) serving as the voice of the Internet café stakeholders on the national level and that it has its own advocacy and initiatives aimed at having a better i-café industry in the days to come.

As if my oratory was not enough, my audience, being not i-café owners themselves,  still look blank on what I am saying about I-Café Pilipinas so I have to cite its resemblance some NGOs that are similarly organized. This is the instance when I could not prevent myself from saying that I-Café Pilipinas is similar to national labor movement in how we are organized, our objectives and how we function. While the national labor organizations aim for better working conditions and compensation for its constituents, I-Café Pilipinas works for a better terms for i-café owners as they conduct their businesses within the bounds of laws and other regulations. Lest I-Café Pilipinas be construed as a leftist organization, I wish to categorically state that it is not. The organization respects and follows all the governing laws of the Philippines concerning the conduct of all its functions.

In the labor movement, the affiliate labor unions negotiate independently for collective bargaining agreements (CBAs)  with their employers. I-Café Pilipinas would like the same thing to happen to its local Internet café association (ICA) partners as they work for the enactments or revisions of local ordinances that govern the registration and operation of i-cafés in their localities. In both cases, the national organizations perform advisory functions only.

I-Café Pilipinas performs other functions like dealing with big information and communications technology (ICT) vendors in order to get the best terms on the products and services that they offer to i-café industry players.  The organization also organize summits, events, trade fairs, worshops and symposiums so that participating ICAs and individual i-café owners will be kept abreast with the trends and developments in the ICT world.

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