ICT groups seek funds as PH wages campaign for ITU council seat

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By Tom Noda Local ICT organizations have launched a fund-raising initiative in a bid to shore up the chances of the Philippines in regaining its former position in the governing body of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU council The IT Association of the Philippines (ITAP) and the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (PCTO) are seeking donations from its members to support the country’s candidacy in the ITU Council elections to be held in Busan, South Korea next month. The ITU is an agency under the United Nations in charge of the telecommunications policies, developments, equipment standardization, and radio frequency allocation. It is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference and the administrative council. The Plenipotentairy Conference is the supreme organ of the ITU and is the decision-making body which determines its direction and activities. The council, on the other hand, acts as the ITU?s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. Its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the ITU’s activities, policies, and strategies are carried out. The Plenipotentiary Conference elects the secretary-general, the deputy secretary-general, the directors of the bureau, the members of the Radio Regulations Board, and the member-states that will constitute the next ITU Council. The elections are held once every four years. According to Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office) chief communications development officer Nestor Bongato, the Philippines has held several leadership roles in ITU including its current term of 2010-2014 and is seeking re-election for the term 2014 to 2018. The Philippines is represented by the ICT Office of the DOST, with assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs, telecommunication firms and several ICT stakeholders. Bongato said among the past positions held by the Philippines in the ITU Council are as follows:

? President, ITU Council in 1995 (Gen. Ceferino S. Carreon, former NTC commissioner and director of TelOf)

? President, ITU Council in 2000 (Atty. Kathy Heceta, former NTC deputy commissioner)

? Member, Council Troika (with Russia and the USA) 2001 to 2002

? Chairman, ITU Working Group that drafted the ITU Strategic Plan for 2004 to 2007

? Vice-Chair, Council Working Group on Stable Constitution 2010 to 2014

Bongato explained that the role of Philippine representatives in the ITU Council is to ensure that the country’s interests are properly protected while the Plenipotentiary Conference is in recess. The immediate response on communications by ITU during Typhoon Yolanda is an example of this. In line with thestrategic campaign, representatives from the Philippines plan to host a dinner for the ITU delegates prior to the elections in South Korea during the first week of October. Dubbed “Philippine Night,” the event is projected to showcase the Philippines while highlighting the country’s achievements and reasons why the Philippines should be elected again as member of the ITU Council.]]>

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