Press Release
November 25, 2012


CEBU CITY -- Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today urged the Filipino youth to take the lead in Information Technology to make it a key engine of sustained economic growth in the country.

Addressing the Philippine Youth Congress on Information Technology in Cebu City recently, Pimentel, a mathematics graduate and information technology aficionado, told the youths that the country is now in "the cusp of a unique revolution, one which is constructive rather than destructive, globalist rather than isolationist in scope, and most important of all, led by the youth."

The lawmaker pointed out that "year after year, economic data in our country show that information technology has provided a discernible link between the growth of internet use and electronic commerce and the growth of our economy and our country's over-all economic performance."

The senator emphasized that "government must demonstrate for all to see its support for the IT industry to make it a viable proposition."

Pimentel noted that the Government has already undertaken two important steps to make IT a strategic agent for the development of the country.

One is the National Information Technology Plan, also known as "IT21", drawn up in 1995, that seeks to transform the country into a "Knowledge Center in Asia" and a leader in IT education, IT-assisted training and in the application of information and knowledge to business, professional services, and the arts. The other is the E-Commerce Act of 2000.

These government initiatives, Pimentel said, resulted in the liberalization of the entry of foreign investments into the country and the enactment of a new Intellectual Property Code that strengthens intellectual property protection.

Despite these initiatives, the senator said, the government should address a host of other issues affecting the IT industry, including taxation, jurisdiction, dispute resolution, and content regulation.

Pimentel suggested that the Department of Education incorporate IT in the curricula of primary, secondary and tertiary levels of schools to eventually create a pool of IT experts.

The senator said the youth should be involved in IT "not as consumers and users of technology but as inventors or innovators, and developers of technology" given their capacity to absorb new knowledge and skills and their boundless energy.

Technology, Pimentel told the participants, is the "new road for the creation of wealth that you can use not only to improve the quality of your lives but also to help pull out the masses of our people from poverty."

Pimentel noted that there are around 30,000 professionals now gainfully employed in the more than 200 software firms located in the country.

While the IT in Mindanao is still in its infancy stage, Pimentel expressed optimism that it can be "nourished to a healthy adulthood that can compete with the best the world can offer," since Mindanao has an abundance of human capital, many centers of excellence in education, and a good number of training institutions.

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