Vice President Jejomar Binay pushed for the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, saying it will help enhance the country’s technological capability and bring it at par with other Asian countries.
In his speech at the 9th Asia Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements (ISLA), Binay said the Philippines needs to catch up with other countries on the aspect of technology development despite being one of the leaders in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
“I am for the creation of a Department of Information and Communications Technology which will not only regulate but also promote the use of the new technologies in Information Technology,” Binay said.
“Our IT infrastructure has much room for improvement. A separate department for Information and Communications Technology can initiate the improvements in our IT infrastructure and encourage the private sector to be engaged in propagating the technologies such that all our 7,000 islands will be connected,” he added.
The Vice President believes that the information technology industry can contribute towards achieving inclusive growth.
“Propagating the use of IT to make our lives more efficient is among my goals. Besides, IT, particularly BPOs, is one of the best job creators in our country,” Binay said.
“I aim to tap the full potential of IT to realize inclusive growth and make life more comfortable for every Filipino,” he added.
At the same time, Binay lamented that cyberspace has become “a venue where people can bully others without fear of any sanctions.”
He said he is a victim of “paid trolls” whose mission is to destroy his image and reputation.
“I am a victim of cyber bullying by the paid trolls of the present administration. I know the anguish of people who have been demonized by a lynching mob fed on lies and fabricated tales,” he said.
“I am a staunch believer of freedom of expression. That, among others, was what sent me to jail during the Marcos dictatorship. But I also believe that freedom carries responsibility with it, and that comments made in public fora should be substantiated with facts and truth,” Binay added.
He stressed the need to refine the Anti-Cybercrime Law to determine who can be made accountable for cyber libel.
“Those who merely quote or forward negative opinions are not as liable for punishment as the sources of these opinions themselves, although these main sources are difficult to trace in cyberspace,” he said.
“Until we can come up with a more refined version of the Anti-Cybercrime Law that clearly defines who are culpable of libel in cyber¬space, victims of cyberbullying can only hope that those who participate in public fora in the net would differentiate facts and black propaganda and be more circumspect and more responsible in their postings.”