Asean members seek closer ICT collaboration

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[/caption] Vice President Jejomar Binay represented Pres. Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino in the high-level regional meeting, noting said that Asean is stronger when connected and in creating ICT jobs. Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Mario Montejo said in his welcome speech that the Philippine government remains bullish with the opportunities that ICT presents for governance. ?We are particularly upbeat about our Integrated Government Philippines (or iGovPhil) project ? our flagship e-governance initiative which will provide the unifying common application services, enterprise architecture, and physical infrastructure to eventually ensure inter-operability and secure data sharing across all e-government systems,? Montejo said. ?We believe that this suite of inter-operable systems and strategic applications of iGovPhil will transform how governance is done in our country. For us, this means smarter government,? he added. The event was also attended by Asean?s dialogue partners China, India, Japan, Korea, the European Union, and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). ITU representative Yuri Grin was on hand to present a memorandum of understanding for an ICT partnership between ITU and Asean. But, while the Philippines appeared to have organized the conference relatively well, the country was somewhat put in the spot when outgoing Telmin chair U Thein Tun of Myanmar announced that his country has already created a new ICT ministry ? leaving the Philippines and Laos as the only nations in Asean with no separate ICT department. Another awkward moment for the Philippines occurred when the organizers started giving out the 1st Asean ICT Awards that coincided with the conference. The Philippines, despite being the host and an acknowledged ICT powerhouse in the region, had no finalist in the awards. ]]>

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