Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1st International Conference and Exhibition on Business and Information and Communication Technology

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. 

New PNP Chief Jesus Versoza

 By committing to continuing what his predecessor has started, incoming police chief Jesus Versoza is now "bound" to push for the review and repeal of the controversial law on youthful offenders. 

  Versoza, who was police deputy director for administration before being appointed to replace Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Avelino Razon, has been quoted in previous interviews as saying he would continue what the general [Razon] has started. 

  General Versoza replaces General Razon, who retires at the mandatory age of 56, September 27.  

  Earlier, Razon, when interviewed by Bohol media openly admitted the PNP and the National police Commission is into a continuing advocacy for review or repeal of the juvenile justice law, "so we could address on the rise of youthful offenders. 

  He admitted that the police leadership has already made representations in Congress about the law. 

  "Ginagawa na po," Razon reminded the media during a press conference in Bohol last week. 

  As to the integrated police transformation program, which Razon implemented, cops believe it would be no big deal for Versoza who has been an exemplary police administrator. 

  He is one of the key personnel directly supervising the program that has elevated the sagging image of the country's police into number 6 best performing government agency, PCSupt Ronaldo Roderos said last week.  

  Versoza would be installed in simple ceremonies at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself officiating the rites, revealed Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.   

  "The President is precisely coming (back on the 27th) to officiate the turnover (ceremonies)," Ermita stressed. 

  Versoza will be the 15th chief of the PNP since its conversion on Jan. 29, 1991 from the now defunct Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to its present status as a civilian police organization. 

  Versoza, whose three-star rank is equivalent to lieutenant general in the AFP, is currently the deputy PNP chief for administration. 

  A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1976, he formerly headed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) after serving as director of PNP-Region IV. - PIA Chiu