By Roberto Cabardo
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo congratulated the organizers of the 1st International Conference and Exhibition on Business and Information and Communication Technology held in the Mediterranean Room of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel yesterday.
The President, who declared June as ICT Month, considered the ICT Congress as the centerpiece of the celebration. She also cited that for Filipinos, ICT means "jobs for our young people, a tool for mass education, and an instrument for good governance."
Likewise, she also reported that in the last four years of her administration, the ICT industry has created thousands of jobs. "In the first six months this year, the industry had already created 40 thousand jobs," she said.
Speaking to a thousand delegates from here and abroad, the President reiterated her goal of making the Philippines as global center for outsourcing and have quality citizens who are software developers, medical transcriptionists, call center agents and other ICT related workers.
To achieve this, according to her, means facing the second phase of her economic reform program that includes dealing with the shocking effect of the latest oil price hike, political bickerings, and graft and corruption. To recall, the passage of tax legislations in congress and other revenue generating initiatives are part of the first phase of PGMA's economic reforms.
Although she paid the political price of all the economic reforms she has done, the President appealed to the public to help the government's fight against corruption, prosecution of tax cases, investigation and dismissal of government workers who failed in the lifestyle check, and customs reforms.
Before ending her twenty-minute speech, Arroyo stressed the need for Filipinos to unite in facing the "daunting challenges of the second phase" of her economic reforms.