Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Sunday, May 07, 2006

CICT commissioner Mapa resigns

IT industry execs saddened by resignation

By Alexander Villafania, Erwin Lemuel Oliva

ANOTHER official from the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) has quit following the resignation of CICT chairman Virgilio Peña on March 30, 2006.

Commissioner Damien Domingo Mapa filed his resignation on Thursday with the office of new CICT chairman Ramon Sales and the Office of the President. He earlier submitted a courtesy resignation.

In an interview with INQ7.net on Friday, Mapa, who heads the CICT's Strategic Business Development Group, cited only personal reasons for his resignation and declined to comment further.

Neither did Mapa recommend a replacement for himself, unlike Peña who had recommended Sales.

The 43-year old Mapa was appointed to the CICT in 2004 as among the commissioners of the newly formed CICT, which was formerly known as the Information Technology and E-Commerce Council.

He was in charge of the business development group of the CICT, as his expertise lay in private sector consulting.

Local information technology executives were surprised by the loss of another government ICT official.

“That’s sad news for the industry. The information technology organizations were the ones who recommended him to be one of the commissioners and he was really doing a good job for government and the CICT partnering with the ICT private sector group. We wish him to stay. He’s a good man. He levels the playing field and is consultative in developing the CICT business development programs,” Cynthia Mamon, Sun Philippines president and managing director and member of various IT organizations in the country, said.

“We hope not to lose momentum with things he started with the ICT organizations. Government must further strengthen CICT if we believe that ICT will make the country globally competitive,” Mamon added.

Mary Anne Tolentino, president of the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (PICS), was also saddened by Mapa’s decision. “He’s very down to earth and accessible to the private sector. Many look up to him. He has made a big sacrifice in order to work for government,” the PICS official added.

Fermin Taruc, president of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), said Mapa has been a champion of the industry.

“In his short but impact-full stint with the CICT, he set into motion programs and initiatives which will provide benefits for years to come. His integrity, commitment and enthusiasm are beyond reproach,” Taruc said.

“While we regret his resignation, we wish him the best in his endeavors,” Taruc added.

Sales has just recently accepted the post and says he was also surprised by Mapa’s filing of his resignation on May 4.

“He informed me about his resignation during his briefing about his group’s programs yesterday,” Sales said in a statement e-mailed to INQ7.net.

Mapa stated in his letter that his resignation would take effect by the end of June.

Mapa headed the CICT’s Strategic Business Development Group (SBDG), which concerned with creating business opportunities for specific IT sectors. Mapa worked closely with various industries, including the medical transcription, contact center, animation, software development, game development and IT education.

"I understand where he is coming from. He has a growing family and as a family man, Dondi has his family's welfare at heart. We, in CICT, thank him for the almost 2 years he spent in government. He served CICT and the Industry well," Sales said.

Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI) President Marlyn Montano also expressed surprise at Mapa’s resignation though she said the group is still hopeful that Mapa’s programs would continue even when he leaves.

“He had helped our sector in developing a clearer path in capacity building, come up with strategic formula on how to reach the workforce in animation and had opened us to many business possibilities,” Montano said.

Taruc believes that there would be no transition problems between Mapa and his replacement as the PSIA already has planned activities that only need to be executed.

Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines Inc (MTIAPI) President Evelyn Abat said that despite Mapa’s resignation the IT industries that he had closely worked with will continue to function efficiently.

However, Abat is concerned that various projects of the IT industries might be delayed if they are reviewed by Mapa's successor.