MANILA, JUNE 30, 2007 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - The country’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry is expected to generate $12 billion in revenues and create a million jobs by 2010, President Arroyo said.

Mrs. Arroyo made the forecast in her speech read by Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde at the 2nd International Conference and Exhibit on ICT and business process outsourcing (BPO) at the Shangri-La Mactan organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Mrs. Arroyo said competition for ICT and BPO investments has gone global with the Philippines as “one of the four most desirable outsourcing destinations in the world. Southeast Asia is in the thick of the fight.”

She noted that just as government and the private sector “are partners in the growth of our economy and the development of our nation, so are we partners in the growth and development of our ICT industry.”

“By the end of my term in 2010, the ICT industry is expected to generate one million jobs and $12 billion in revenue, which are attainable if we will continue to work together for the next three years,” Mrs. Arroyo said.

The President said the government has created the Cyber Corridor, cutting across all super regions from Baguio to Cebu to Davao, which will boost the country’s telecommunications, technology and education, as well as its competitiveness.

Several science and technology projects have been implemented in the Cyber Corridor through the Department of Science and Technology, she said.

Among the projects Mrs. Arroyo mentioned was the Disaster Mitigation through Enhanced Forecasts Using Numerical Prediction Products and Satellite Data, a cluster computing solution built by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) for a fraction of the price to replace their old supercomputers to provide timely and accurate forecasts based on the newest meteorological models.

Another project is the Open Source and Low Cost Computing Program, which develops and delivers alternative and low cost systems applications to government agencies, schools and small businesses to reduce their dependency on proprietary software.

One of its desktop solutions, Bayanihan Linux version 4.0, was launched this year, she said.

Third is the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network, which serves as the country’s only research and education network with links to international research and development networks, such as the Asia Pacific Advanced Network, the Asian Internet Interconnection Initiative and the TransEurasia Information Network 2.

One of its milestones is the launching of the Philippine Open Internet Exchange for IPv4 and IPv6 this year.

Fourth is the Pagasa Interactive Climate and Weather Information Network, which includes the rehabilitation of the radar system to strengthen the weather bureau’s information and communication system, and the acquisition of the required hardware and development of the required software for its field stations.

Fifth is the Test Analysis and Calibration Information System, which refers to the computerization of laboratory operations and management through the use of information systems.

Another is the Electronic Library, which integrates current libraries into a single network system to standardize services and provide wider information databases to be made available and accessible to all individuals and qualified users with Phil e-Lib prepaid cards.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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