Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Govt sets aside initial fund for proposed national ID

By Darwin G. Amojelar, Manila Times Reporter

THE Arroyo administration plans to spend hundreds of millions of pesos for the procurement of computers and other equipment required for the implementation of the unified multipurpose-identification (ID) system.

In a report to President Arroyo, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto B. Santos said arrangements have been made for an initial allocation of P200 million under the e-Government Fund for the procurement of a large-capacity computer server to host the Common Reference Number (CRN) registry and the required software to operate the central database.

A CRN is a unique number generated and assigned to a person, which will be his unique identifier for the rest of his life.

Santos said the National Statistics Office (NSO) has already completed the development of the appropriate algorithm to generate the CRNs.

The NSO is in the process of validating the birth records of Government Service Insurance System members, numbering some 1.3 million, for assignment of their individual CRNs before said records will undergo “cleansing” through biometrics data matching. GSIS members will be the first group to be assigned the CRNs.

Danny Pabellon, NEDA director for Information Techno-logy Coordination Staff said the government is conducting a feasibility study for the procurement of the automated fingerprint information system (AFIS).

He said the AFIS that will be used for the project is similar to that used by the Social Security System, and would cost over a billion of pesos. The feasibility study is scheduled for completion by December. “We hope to fully implement the ID system, which will cover at least 37.1 million Filipinos, who are holders of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., by the end of next year,” Pabellon said.
Under Executive Order 420, or the Unified Multipurpose ID System, all Filipinos transacting with the government will be issued CRNs.

The unified ID system aims to reduce the cost of government-issued IDs, and to fast-track official transactions.
Carmelita Ericta, NSO administrator, said the unified multipurpose IDs will contain three kinds of data—basic, biometric and other information.

Basic data comprise the name, date and place of birth, name of parents and sex of the bearer. Biometric data consist of the photograph, signature and prints of the index fingers and thumbs. Other data pertain to home address, marital status, height, weight, prominent distinguishing features and the Tax Identification Number

Monday, October 31, 2005

NBI: No raids on individual houses over pirated software

UNVERIFIED reports regarding government’s antipiracy agents conducting raids on Internet cafés, gaming networks, and even individual residences suspected of using pirated software spread last week, prompting authorities to deny such incidents.

“We would like to emphasize that the NBI does not target individual users nor raiding individual houses. The first indicator that a raid is illegal is when these people start knocking at your front door to check on your software,” said Atty. Jose Yap, chief of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) division of the National Bureau of Investigation speaking at a press briefing presented by the Pilipinas Antipiracy Team (PAPT).

In the past couple of weeks, there were reports from various parts of the country that law enforcement officers were targeting individuals on the group’s campaign against the use of illegal software, which prompted the different heads of the Pilipinas Antipiracy team to conduct their own investigation.

“We checked these reports of so-called raids, but they turn out to be not true,” according to Atty. Nestor Mantaring, National Bureau of Investigation asst. director. “In fact, I personally investigated the report in Mindoro that NBI agents were raiding houses and Internet cafés suspected of using pirated software and they were all false leads. These all just started with text messages.”

The Pilipinas Antipiracy Team is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation, Optical Media Board, and the Philippine National Police.

Since the PAPT crackdown began in September 16, 2005, the group has seized over 19-million worth of illegal software, both from computers loaded with unlicensed software and pirated CDs and DVDs.

As much as P9.8 billion is lost annually by the local entertainment industry from piracy, while the government loses as much as P2 billion in taxes, according to the team. However, despite the government efforts to curb piracy, some people have taken advantage of the situation by posing as raiding teams and extorting money from affected individuals.

“Again, we don’t conduct raids on individual users. Our thrust is against corporate users who we identify as those who make profit out of illegal software,” says Atty. Yap. “If this kind of raid happens to you, the first thing to do is ask for identification from the raiding team, then ask for a search warrant and/or mission order, or best, call your local police for assistance,” adds Atty. Yap.
--Jing Garcia, Manila Times

BPO group to join gov't e-services confab in ‘06

By Alexander Villafania, INQ7.net

THE BUSINESS Process Association of the Philippines (BPA/P) is set to join next year’s e-Services Philippines conference. This will be the first time this organization of business process outsourcers (BPO) will join a major local conference.

The e-Services Philippines is an annual IT event featuring service providers in the IT-enabled services (ITES) space. It is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

BPA/P executive director Mitchell Locsin said in a statement that their participation marks a first for the organization since its inception 18 months ago. “BPA/P was not yet fully organized during last year’s conference,” he said.

Locsin said that BPA/P and CITEM have partnered with the Board of Investments, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Globe Telecom for the event to be held from February 16 to 17, 2006.

“BPA/P believes that this is one partnership where everyone is going to help one another achieve a single vision: to promote the Philippines as a premiere outsourcing venue,” Locsin said.

Locsin added that BPA/P would assist CITEM in designing concurrent sessions for the six ITES sectors highlighted in the event -- contact centers, animation, back office operations, engineering design, software development, and medical and legal transcription.

He expects next year’s conference to generate more deals and partnerships between local providers and foreign companies as more niche market services become more available. “If CITEM and BPA/P succeed in doing this at ESP 2006 again this year, this will definitely lead to new investments and more jobs.”

BPA/P is an umbrella organization of several ITES groups such as the Contact Centers Association of the Philippines, Animation Council of the Philippines, Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine Software Industry Association

eLGU project starts to lift off the ground

By melvin G. calimag, manila bulletin

When RA 8792, known as the E-commerce Law, was passed in 2000, it mandated all agencies of government to use electronic means in government transactions within two years. Three years after the deadline, it is not clear if the agencies concerned have sufficiently complied with the provision of the law.

But while Manila-based bureaus have yet to make significant strides in digitizing their functions, local government units (LGUs) in the countryside are staging a quiet revolution in their attempt to make electronic transactions a real part of their everyday business.

This momentum was primarily triggered by a program called eLGU (Jumpstarting Electronic Governance in Local Government), an initiative of the National Computer Center (NCC) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology.

Two components under the program — the Development of E-Government Applications for LGU and the Community eCenter project — are aimed at building up the technological capability and access for the municipalities and the rural folks.

At a recent opening of a Community eCenter in Lubao, Pampanga, these initiatives have started to make its presence felt for the town and its people. The mayor, Dennis Pineda, said the municipality is almost done in converting its paper records to a computerized database.

"We started in January but it’s taking some time because it is a manual process of inputting all our records into the database. But once we finished this, we expect to have a smooth sailing from thereon," said the youthful official, a scion of the ruling Pineda clan.

The database, when completed, would be used to facilitate transactions for Real Property Tax System (RPTS), Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS), and Treasury Operations Management System (TOMS) — information systems that are revenue-generating in nature.

"We’re eager to implement this program as this would allow us to become proactive in collecting real estate taxes and other fees instead of us waiting for people to come to the municipal to pay their dues," he said.

Pineda said a private software company has offered the same applications for R10 million to R15 million. "We saved that amount because the applications were given to us — and to all municipalities — for free."

But if the e-government applications were meant to "efficiently burden" the people with various fees, the Community eCenter is intended to give them access to various services, particularly Internet connectivity.

Officials from Intel Microelectronics Philippines, led by John Antone, general manager of Intel Asia Pacific, helped launched the eCenter as the chip giant is a partner of the NCC in the initiative.

Intel is providing substantial aid in setting up the eCenters by giving PCs and taking care of distance learning and on-line services as well as other kinds of services and information relevant to the community.

NCC provides each CeC with at least three computer units, a 4-in-1 package consisting of a scanner, printer, facsimile machine and a copier, one Web camera and LAN peripherals. The LGU, as a counterpart, provides the area where the CeC is housed, Internet connection and fixtures needed in the eCenter as well as the staff.

Currently, there are 45 Community eCenters throughout the country, most of them located in "digitally excluded" areas where access to technology is limited. The plan is to put up seven eCenters per region, or at least one in every town, by 2010