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Philippines’ Lacklustre ICT Performance Disappointing

Corsarius airs his gripes on the Philippines’ having ranked 70th out of 115 countries in the WEF‘s Global Information Technology Report for 2005 to 2006. I can’t help but agree with his sentiments (both the economist in me and the ICT professional).

Of course it hurts to accept that fact, more so when you’re within the ICT industry. You might not feel it if you’re studying in a Wi-Fi hotspot-blessed university or frequently visit classy malls and cafes, but many tech-savvy Pinoys have experienced this national deficiency firsthand. Heck, even the best Internet services offered in the country comes at exorbitant charges or suffer from frustrating quality and customer support.

From the WEF report,

The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) … to measure the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments.

The NRI is composed of the following indices:

  • ICT environment
  • ICT readiness
  • ICT usage

If you’re reading this blog post, then you’re most probably among the more affluent, or at least among those who have access to basic ICT services. A good majority of Filipinos have never even touched a computer, much less know what the Internet is. Perhaps the mobile phone is the closest most have come to being connected with the rest of the world, but IMHO, the potential applications of mobile technology are far from what full-fledged Internet services can offer.

Macro-wise, ICT–or any technology for that matter–is considered a driving force in facilitating economic growth. The productivity and efficiency gains that technology affords a developing economy would be sure to boost growth and development. Sadly, the country is not harnessing the potential of ICT as well as other developing Asian nations are, as apparent from the WEF study.

Of course, these things need close collaboration among the stakeholders, namely government, the private sector (businesses) and civil society (the individuals).

Perhaps for now, it’s best to start small. PayPal for Philippines, anyone?

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