Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 2nd MICAS Is A Huge Success

By: Gener Morada

The Internet Cafe Association of Davao and I-Cafe Pilipinas has recently concluded the Second Mindanao Internet Cafe Associations Summit (2nd MICAS). The event held last February 18 and 19, 2010 at the SM City-Davao in Ecoland, Davao City, was a resounding success with more than 300 internet cafe owners that are operating in the various places in Mindanao like in Davao City, Tagum, Digos and as far as General Santos City actively participated in its various activities.

The event also serve as convergence of personalities as internet cafe owners are able to connect with the different personalities known for their work in the ICT field. Hon. Commissioner Francisco Perez II, Information Infrastructure Group of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology addressed the participants on the important role that the internet cafes plays in the overall ICT infrastructure in the country.

The City Government of Davao City showed its full support in this initiative with Councilor Peter Laviña, Chairman of the Commerce Committee City Council, Davao City welcoming the participants to Davao City. Counselor Maybel Sunga Acosta, Chair of the Education Committee City Council, Davao City informed the participants of the various initiatives of the city government in promoting the responsible use of ICT in the City of Davao.

Manila-based executives and personalities like Mr. Ricky Banaag, Country Manager, Intel Technology Philipines, Ms. Fortune Magsadia, Anti Piracy Manager, Microsoft Philippines, Ms. Aileen Apolo – de Jesus, Country Consultant, Google, Ms. Yuko Lissette Domingo, Project Officer eSkwela CICT, Mr. Rick Amores of the National Computer Center and Mr. Joseph Lee, Manager iGlobe Technology, also flew in to the City of Davao to be part of the Second MICAS. One of the highlights of the program was the Skype address of Mr. Andy Hansen, Co-Founder, Senior Executive Vice President & Director, DataVault Security who talked to the summit participants from his office in the United Kingdom. The Mindanao-based resource persons includes Mr. Carlo Paquera, Territory Manager for Davao City of Globe Business and Ms. Romina Go, Account Manager for LEC, DSL and Data Services of Bayan Business.

It is in this summit that I-Cafe Pilipinas unveiled one its centerpiece program, the “Ang Ligtas Na Digital Batang Pinoy” which hopes to educate the community on the  safe and proper use of modern technology. When the convenors of I-Cafe Pilipinas arrived in Davao City, they learned that there was a large outpouring of concerns regarding the internet cafes being the source of social ills like school truancy and being access points for pornography.

The “Ligtas na Digital Batang Pinoy” program is a national initiative by internet cafe owners that aims in providing information in the vernacular to the community on the proper and effective use of technology in their daily activities. Unlike other programs that is already existing, the primary goal of the “Ligtas ng Batang Digital Pinoy” is to create materials that is suited to the Filipino frame of mind and could easily be understood by everyone. One of its primary aim is to incorporate such materials to be part of the regular school curriculum. I-Cafe Pilipinas believes that proper education in the use of modern technology is much more better than regulation.

In a joint statement issued by the Chair of I-Cafe Pilipinas, Mr. Ed Zafra and the President of the Internet Cafe Association of Davao, they said, “We are proud and honored with the success of the Second Mindanao Internet Cafe Associations Summit for it has uplifted the image of the internet cafe industry in the region of Mindanao. It has provided an insight on the various initiatives that we are jointly undertaking in order to improve the conditions through convergence and closer ties among the different players in the internet cafe industry in the country.”

“We are hoping that the same initiative would be replicated all over the country as we bring together the different internet cafe operators and allied ICT companies in providing better ICT services closer to the people and the community.” added by Mr. Zafra. While Mr. Solanor stressed “ the summit gave the internet cafe owners an idea on the importance of the internet cafe associations as a means to empower the individual internet cafe owners in properly managing their business.”

The convenors of I-Cafe Pilipinas and the officers of ICAD would like to thank the support given by its event partners to ensure the success of the Second MICAS which includes: Intel Technology Philippines and Microsoft Philippines as its Gold Event Partners, iGlobe Technology, Bayan Business, Globe Business, USAID's Growth with Equity for Mindanao Program, >Metro Preneur Corp, ICT Davao and DICCEP for being the Silver Event Partners and Teleglobal of the Philippines as a networker in the event.

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