Friday, May 14, 2010

Here Not To Lead But To Collaborate

I was asked in many occasions how many members does I-Café Pilipinas have and my usual reply was we actually do not have i-café owners as members and that they are just affiliates. From the start, I-Café Pilipinas as the national advocacy organization of internet café owners and operators in the Philippines has no intention of leading the local internet café associations (ICAs) but rather would want to develop collaborative efforts with the different organizations all over the country for future projects for the industry. Under the set up, I-Café Pilipinas and the ICAs are co-equal in status. I-Café Pilipinas will just help the ICAs and will not take over. The identity of  local ICAs as i-café organizations in their respective areas will remain.

Collaboration, in the context that I-Café Pilipinas wants it, is not mere coordination but more about fostering ideas, intentions and interests towards economic and social empowerment of i-café owners. Collaboration between I-Café Pilipinas and local ICAs is aimed at creating new possibilities and opportunities which would otherwise not exist if the tie-up is not there. While individual i-café owners are the ones bound to benefit on the projects that would result out of the collaboration, I-Café Pilipinas prefers to deal with the ICA if it exists in a locality.

In its almost nine (9) months of existence as the national advocacy body for the internet café industry, I-Café Pilipinas had gained recognition as such by the concerned national government agencies and the big private entities in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector of the country. The accomplishment report of I-Café Pilipinas attests to its stand that it intends to collaborate with local ICAs and not take over and lead them on what they want to accomplish. In the many events organized by I-Café Pilipinas and attended by i-café owners, it was always mentioned that I-Café Pilipinas would always prefer to do projects in collaboration with local internet café associations who, in turn, would take care of its i-café members if there are benefits generated as a result of the collaboration.

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