Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Solon wants stricter penalties against online porn peddlers

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines -- Opposition senator Loren Legarda wants to impose heavier penalties against peddlers of pornography on the Internet.

Citing one online forum called "Boy Bastos," Legarda said that her Anti-Computer Pornography Act aims to "reinforce the war on electronic smut."

Under Senate Bill 1375, people found peddling child pornography and other "indecent materials" online would be punished with up to six years in prison or a fine of as much as P500,000, or both, as indicated in her bill, a copy of which was obtained by INQUIRER.net.

The proposed law wants to make "any remote computer facility operator, electronic service provider or electronic bulletin board service provider to knowingly transmit, offer or attempt to send any communication that contains indecent material, to a person under 18 years of age" unlawful.

Legarda also stressed the need for Congress "to protect children from indecent and immoral materials conveyed through computer technology."

The bill defines indecent materials as those "obscene literature or indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts, or shows, whether live or in film."

"These include materials that glorify criminals or condone crimes; serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market of violence, lust or pornography; offend any race or religion; tend to abet traffic in and use of illicit drugs; and are contrary to law, public order, morals, good customs, established policies, lawful order, decrees and edicts," the bill explained.

Legarda urged agencies like the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to look into websites containing porn or related materials.

The IACAT is composed of the departments of justice, social welfare, foreign affairs and labor, as well as the immigration bureau, the police, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women and three groups representing women, children and overseas workers.

Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo Madrigal also filed a similar bill two years ago that wanted to make the mere possession of child pornography a crime.

Republic Act 7610, the "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act," currently penalizes child prostitution and sexual abuse, child trafficking, and obscene publications and indecent shows involving minors.

State Prosecutor Geronimo Sy said there are other laws like Republic Act 8792, or the E-commerce Act, and the Republic Act 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act, that can be used to penalize online peddlers of child pornography.

"All these laws can serve as a start for protecting our children," he said in a telephone interview. But as to laws prohibiting distribution of online pornography in general, there exist no "focused" legislations yet.

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Cops raid cybersex den, arrest 2 men, rescue four girls

By MAR T. SUPNAD - Manila Bulletin

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — An American and his companion, who were believed to be leaders and financiers of a cybersex syndicate were arrested by policemen last Monday night when four girls were rescued on Bayabas St., Dau Homesite, Mabalacat, Pampanga.

In a report to Chief Supt. Errol T. Pan, newly designated police regional director of Central Luzon, Supt. Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Regional Intelligence division (RID), stated that RID personnel, led by Senior Inspector Romeo Castro, Mabalacat policemen and personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, raided the cybersex den said to be maintained by an unidentified American and his Filipino companion.

The raid was conducted after Judge Philbert Ituralde of the Regional Trial Court here issued a search warrant following complaints by residents in the area who said that the house is a cybersex den victimizing unsuspecting young women.

Colonel Albayalde said the raid resulted in the arrest of two men and the rescue of four girls, one of them a minor.

The police, however did not reveal the names of the suspects pending the filing of a case with the court, saying only that they were American and a Filipino Informatic technician.

Informed of the busting of the syndicate, General Pan said he will immediately order the filing of the case against the suspects. Pan showed to newsmen the confiscated cybersex machine and computers to newsmen.

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P2 trillion worth of IT projects in the pipeline

By Tony Bergonia - Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- The controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) and Cyber Education Project (CEP) would sink the country deeper in debt because the government already owns other broadband networks and 31 information and communication technology (ICT) projects that have a combined cost of more than P2 trillion.

Most of the funds for the ongoing and proposed projects came or will come from foreign loans, a government listing showed.

Two of the projects are broadband networks that the government already owns -- the Philippine Administrative Network Project (PANP) and the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET).

The 31 ongoing and proposed ICT projects, plus the two existing government broadband networks, are the precursors of the NBN that would add about P15 billion to the more than P2 trillion that was already spent and would be spent on the government’s ICT projects.

Aside from the P15 billion that the Philippine government would borrow from China for the NBN, which was awarded to Chinese firm ZTE Corp., another P23 billion would be borrowed from China for the Department of Education’s CEP.


The CEP was likely to be handed to ZTE’s competitor, Huawei, also a Chinese firm.

Two University of the Philippines economics professors, Raul V. Fabella and Emmanuel de Dios, said in a paper that it defied logic for government to own one broadband network, much less two.

Their paper was unable to study the implications of government having actually four broadband networks.

The PANP, also known as the French Protocol because it was built through more than P400 million in loans from the French government, was supposed to modernize the government’s news and information network.

The Office of the Press Secretary is its implementing arm.

The French Protocol was a satellite-based system that was meant to connect all offices of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the News and Information Bureau (NIB) and the Bureau of Broadcast Services (BBS) to enable them to transmit data, text and video faster.

But high costs of satellite technology and lack of funds have transformed pieces of equipment that were bought for the PANP into dust magnets, according to Malacañang officials who had first-hand knowledge of the French Protocol.

PREGINET’s funding is listed at P5.2 billion, which was borrowed from the Japanese government through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The Department of Science and Technology (DoST), the implementing arm of Preginet, said on its website that PREGINET was a “nationwide broadband network that interconnects academic institutions, government offices and R&D (research and development) centers in the Philippines.”

In June 2000, the DoST gave PREGINET P24 million to start the first year of a “high performance research and education network.”

“PREGINET lets users efficiently transmit and receive large amounts of data nationwide and integrates some existing government information networks into a common network backbone,” said the PREGINET website.

The project listing, which was attached as annexes to the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2004-2010, showed that some of the big-ticket projects computerizing government offices were done through build-operate-transfer (BOT) schemes.

Bizarre turnaround

BOT schemes applied to ICT projects made a lot of sense, according to the paper of Fabella and De Dios.

“Indeed, they seemed to draw and build upon the logic and success of past privatizations, which had either brought in revenue, promoted efficiency, better service, or both,” said the paper.

It came as a bizarre turnaround, the paper said, when the government did not resort to the BOT scheme for the NBN and CEP, two projects that the government didn’t need to own, in the first place.

Some of the projects listed in the MTPDP were utter failures, like the modernization of the electoral process under the Commission on Elections.

The MTPDP listed a P12-billion budget for the Comelec project that has turned out to be just a waste of public funds.

The project never took off, but hundreds of millions of pesos had already been withdrawn from government coffers for a computer contract that was declared invalid by the Supreme Court.

The computers are currently kept in a Comelec-rented warehouse in Manila.

Machine-readable passports

Another computerization project was for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that sought to replace hand-manufactured passports and visas with machine readable ones.

It cost P2 billion under a BOT project that has a life span of 10 years. The DFA has recently started issuing machine-readable passports.

Yet another computerization project was for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to establish a “wide area network that will link all DOLE offices.”

Part of the project was to develop a Labor Market Information System, or a computerized listing of job openings.

The DOLE ICT project was conceptualized in 1997 but its implementation started in 1998 and would take at least P100 million in government funds to complete.

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has its own computerization program, one that is now drawing flak for delaying the release of government workers’ salary loans and pensions.

The 10-year computerization project of the Land Transportation Office was one of the biggest items on the MTPDP list. It cost P3.4 billion through a BOT contract and is a component of a bigger National Information Technology Plan for the 21st Century, or IT21, project to rev up the country’s IT sector at an estimated cost of $49.7 billion, or almost P2 trillion.

It was supposed to accelerate the issuance of drivers’ licenses and other motor vehicle documents, but queues are still long in many LTO branches.

Birth certificates

The National Statistics Office, that is more popularly known as the agency that issues copies of birth certificates, was the beneficiary of a P2.1-billion BOT project to computerize its operations and speed up the processing of documents.

A computerization project of the Bureau of Internal Revenue was listed as having a budget of P4.4 billion.

Another broadband-related project was for the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to administer the interconnection of 100 state universities and colleges (SUCs) through local-area networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WAN).

LAN is a system that links computers together in a small area, like offices or buildings. WAN is the same system applied to a larger area like a town, province or an entire country.

The CHEd project has a listed cost of P1.5 billion and a completion period of three years.

Telepono sa Barangay

Under the MTPDP, the Department of Transportation and Communications was to carry out a P62.7-billion “alternative communication program.”

This, according to the MTPDP annexes, “shall serve as an alternative to the Municipal Telephone Program (MTP) and the Telepono sa Barangay.”

It was to install “telecenters in every municipality and public pay phones accessible to all barangays.”

The government had already spent P1.5 billion of loans from Canada for the MTP that installed 2,460 telephone lines in 246 villages in the provinces of Quezon, Negros Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya and Misamis Occidental.

But the lines are now dead and the MTP fell apart as the use of cellular phones became more common.

Too poor to pay

It also proved to be a losing financial venture because most of the lines were installed in areas where poverty was so pervasive that people could barely afford three meals a day, much less pay for phone calls.

“Technology overran it (MTP),” said one official who took part in implementing the MTP.

“These guys working on the NBN and CEP should learn lessons from this (MTP),” said the official. “It’s Waste of Funds 101, but the lessons never sink in. It’s as if money grew on trees.”

Boao Forum

Malacañang officials, who helped prepare the MTPDP but declined to be identified for lack of clearance to talk from higher officials, said the listing of ongoing and proposed ICT projects in the government’s six-year development plan indicated “an aggressive push for IT (information technology) projects.”

It was an aggressive stance that President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo herself announced in a speech at the Boao Forum in Boao, China, shortly before she witnessed the signing of the NBN deal with ZTE on April 21, 2007.

“In the Philippines, we are investing aggressively in the IT backbone,” said Ms Arroyo in the speech. “We are bringing the Internet to every high school.”

It wasn’t clear whether, at the time Ms Arroyo said those words, her administration had already outlined what it wanted in terms of ICT projects other than to connect all government offices through a broadband network and all public high schools to the Internet.

Written by President

But in a portion in the MTPDP dealing with ICT projects that Malacañang officials said Ms Arroyo herself wrote, the President was well aware of what the problem in the ICT area was -- the lack of private sector participation.

“The absence of clear and concise policies allowing innovative and more efficient services at lower costs has discouraged the entry of new players and further investments in the (ICT) sector,” Ms Arroyo wrote in a situationer on Digital Infrastructure in the MTPDP.

“Clearly, there is need to sustain the momentum already gained toward the building of a digital infrastructure,” she wrote in the ICT section of the MTPDP shortly after the May 2004 elections.

“Hence, efforts in pursuit of this goal will be further accelerated with the private sector playing a major role in these efforts,” she said.

Her officials were to come under fire three years after she wrote those words for entering into a government-to-government deal with China for the NBN, a broadband network that would have no private sector participation.

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RP firms just starting to adopt IT governance--IBM execs

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

MAKATI CITY, Philippines -- The level of awareness and the interest to comply with regulatory and information technology governance issues are high in the Philippines, but only a few companies are practicing it, IBM executives said.

"The awareness and the interest to comply are high. But on the actual compliance, they're just starting. We don't know the extent of compliance," said Aileen Judan-Jiao, country services executive of IBM Global Technology Services Philippines.

Introducing a suite of IT governance services, framework and tools, IBM executives said the "highly regulated" industries are expected to initially adopt IT governance since they are now under pressure to become more visible and accountable to stakeholders and customers.

IT governance involves, among others, managing risks and information security within organizations, ensuring compliance to regulatory mandates like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and keeping the "lights on" in the face of natural or man-made disasters.

In the Philippines, Judan-Jiao said local organizations now consider typhoons and floods as the top two events which organizations have to prepare for.

"You cannot get away from IT governance," the IBM executive stressed, noting that banks, multinational companies, and publicly listed business process outsourcing companies are among those leading in the adoption of IT governance.

Peter Rajnak, solutions manager for security of the IBM Software Group for the Asean region, added that the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand are among the countries that are just starting to implement IT governance.

Asked why there is lower adoption of IT governance in the country, Judan-Jiao replied: "We don't have a strong e-governance agency to implement compliance across all industry." But she quickly added that the Commission on Information and Communications Technology has started to put together guidelines to help local organizations comply with certain regulatory standards.

Rajnak, for his part, said that the Asian culture is a factor in the compliance of some companies.

"It takes time to change the regulatory culture," he added.

Asked if government readiness is another factor affecting adoption of IT governance in the country, Rajnak said that "generally, it is a factor."

IT governance and risk management will grow to a $30-billion global market by 2008, IBM said, citing the AMR Research's analyst report titled "Market Demand for Governance, Risk Management and Compliance 2007-2008.”

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Regulasyon sa Internet café, pinahihigpitan ng mga mambabatas

NANAWAGAN kahapon mga kongresista sa kinauukulan na magtakda ng mahigpit na regulasyon sa lumalawak na Internet café dahil sa sandamakmak na marahas na “on-line games” na hindi nakakatulong sa edukasyon at hindi malayong lumikha ng “war-freak” na mga Pilipino sa hinaharap.

Bagama’t magandang senyales sa negosyo, dismayado naman sina Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, incoming An Waray Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel at Taguig-Pateros Rep. Lani Cayetano dahil pawang mga bata na naglalaro ng mararahas na games ang madalas na parokyano sa Internet cafés.

Sinabi ni Romualdez na dapat magtakda ang iba't ibang lungsod at munisipyo ng kondisyon na magpapatupad ang Internet cafe operators ng curfew sa kanilang minors na kliyente bago pagkalooban ng business permit.

“There should be a limit in the operations of Internet cafés because precious times for studies are being wasted,” ani Romualdez na nagsabing hindi nakakatulong sa paghubog ng mga responsableng bata ang mararahas na computer at video games.

Naniniwala si Noel na humuhubog ang bayolenteng computer at video games ng mga kabataang utak-pulbura kaya naman maraming minors ang nasasangkot na sa mga krimen.

“Soon we will be producing adults who are war freaks and utak-pulbura who will approach their daily problems with the mindset of a warrior or a terminator,” ani Noel.

Nalaman naman kay Cayetano na sandamakmak na reklamo ang natanggap ng kanyang tanggapan dahil sa pinapabayaang Internet café kung saan nagiging adik ang mga batang dapat sana ay mga nag-aaral ng kanilang aralin.

Inihayag ni Cayetano na kadalasang inerereklamo ng mga magulang ang pagka-ubos ng baon ng kanilang mga anak sa pagrenta ng mga bayolenteng games.

“Young Internet café users have been practically spending their ‘baon’ and their whole day inside Internet cafes harnessing their talents in killing off their enemies,” ani Cayetano. Ryan Ponce Pacpaco - Journal online

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6 taong kulong sa ‘sex on phone’

By: Marlon Purificacion - Journal online

MAKUKULONG ng anim na taon ang sinumang mahuling nakikipag-sex sa phone!

Ito’y sakaling aprubahan ang Anti-Dial-A-Porn Act na inihain ni Senador Jinggoy Estrada upang bigyan ng sapat na kaparusahan ang mga taong nagbibigay at nahuhumaling sa ‘phone sex services.’

Ipinaliwanag ni Estrada sa kanyang Senate Bill 400 na mahalagang industriya sa bansa ang telecommunications pero marami naman ang umaabuso sa paggamit nito kaya nauso ang “dial-a-porn” kung saan kinakalakal ang mga babae na parang paninda sa talipapa sa pamamagitan ng telepono.

“The use of telephone provides convenience to the users from all parts of the globe. This technology, however, is being abused and we have seen the commercial use of telephones for providing phone-sex services which are often referred to as ‘dial-a-porn’ service providers,” paliwanag ni Estrada sa kanyang panukala.

Ayon kay Estrada dahil sa kawalan ng batas, naglipana sa bansa ang mga nasabing service providers kung saan kasama rin ang mga pay-per-call services na patuloy na sumisira sa moralidad lalo na ng mga kabataan.

“Indeed, strict penalties and sanctions should be imposed to violators to prevent, suppress and ultimately eliminate such kinds of activities,” ani Estrada.

Nakasaad din sa panukala na ang “phone-sex business” ay ang pagbibigay ng sexually intimate, suggestive o explicit conversations sa mga callers sa ‘pay-per-call basis’.

Sa sandaling maging isang ganap na batas, ang mga mapapatunayang lalabag ay
papatawan ng parusang pagkabilanggo ng hindi bababa sa anim na taon pero hindi lalampas sa walong taon, o multang mula P10,000 hanggang P20,000, depende sa hatol ng korte.

Kung ang gagawa ay isang foreigner, agad itong ipade-deport at pagbabawalan nang muling makapasok ng bansa.

Ang Department of Tourism ang babalangkas ng rules and regulations para sa pagpapatupad ng batas.

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Video resumé service takes shot at cyberspace

By EDISON D. ONG - Manila Bulletin

The next time you respond to a job advertisement, try sending a video resumé. Furthermore, be prepared to be interviewed by your potential employer online.

The great part here is that you are in the Philippines and the potential employer who is interviewing you is in the United States, for example.

A local company called "Ocean 8" has recently introduced Vid- Res, a twin win service offered through www.vidres.net. It is an avenue for jobseeks to find the best jobs and for the employers to find the best applicants, Edgardo R Corbe, Business Development Director of VidRes, told Infotech in an interview.

Jobseekers present their qualifications in a 30-second video, he said, adding that this save them time and money on their job hunt.

He added "Video resumés allow applicants to highlight their personality, skills, and talents, something that a traditional paper resumé can’t do."

What’s more, he continued, vidres.net helps applicants create the most impressive video resumé by guiding them through an easy-to-follow step-by-step process of resumé development. "vidres.net gives a face and a voice to each job application, he said.

On the part of employers, he explained, they post online job vacancies, have access to video resumes, are able to shorten — if not eliminate — initial screening process. Best of all, they hire the employees they need.

He said that vidres.net is more than just video resume, because it features company video profiles and allows employers to interview candidates online.

Corbe and his marketing and sales team entertained inquiries on this high tech approach to resume presentation and application solution at the recent CCAP Call Center Conference and Expo 2007 held at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila hotel.

The two-day event highlighted the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) strategies and action plans to meet the outsourced contact center sector’s goals for 2010. The CCAP counts among its members 34 of the largest outsourced call centers in the country and the world.

One of the major concerns tackled at this year’s conference edition is contact center talent sourcing, selection and retention.

At present, uploading of video resume into the VidRes site is for free. Eventually, a P100 fee per video uploaded will be imposed.

As of press time, he said, "we have 20 companies posting job opportunities of which three are contact centers."

In the blueprint are installation of mobile video resume recording booths in job hunting grounds and by 2008, the company executives will travel to Asian countries and collaborate with Asian recruiters.

At the Contact Center conference, he reported that they have received inquiries from interest conference visitors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the US.

"We have already points of presence in the US, Hong Kong and Canada," he said, "so it will be easy for us to organize on the international level."


Vidres.net also allows employers to pre-screen and shortlist jobseekers at the click of a button, without leaving their desk or picking up the phone. Through vidres.net, employers can now see how articulate and confident a candidate is even before the interview. No more expensive job ads. No more time wasted waiting for results.

In seconds, employers can assess a candidate’s suitability for the job in terms of image, personality, and communication skills. Costly, physically taxing, and futile initial interviews are now eliminated.

Vidres.net even goes beyond video resumés. After an initial screening of applicants, vidres.net can help employers set up an online interview – face-to-face, real-time and synchronous. Employers get to see, hear, and critique candidates in less time and for less the cost of in-person interviews.

Language proficiency tests, IQ tests, personality tests, and career suitability tests can also be administered to applicants online, paving the way for paperless hiring.

Moreover, companies can also upload video files to advertise job openings and attract potential business partners.

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Phones for seamen

By Noel G. Tulabut - SunStar

Smart Communications is making good its promise to serve our countrymen abroad. This time, it has shifted to high gears for the benefit of Filipino merchant marines or seamen.

Going an extra mile just to do that, it has acquired 30 percent equity interest in Blue Ocean Wireless (”BOW”), a Dublin-based company delivering GSM communication capability for the merchant maritime sector, for US$15.9 million.

Napoleon L Nazareno, President and CEO of SMART, said 1.2 million seafarers -- of whom 40 percent are Filipinos -- currently populate the global merchant maritime fleet.

“Their communications needs are currently served by satellite-based, bridge-mounted or shared fixed phones that tend to lack privacy. Moreover, these types of phones allow only a limited number of incoming calls and do not provide for SMS or texting. The innovative BOW service will enable seafarers to bring their mobile phones onboard their vessels and use them just as if they were at home or roaming in other countries,” he said

For his part, Robert Johnson, chief executive officer of BOW, said that they are “delighted to announce this investment by SMART and a partnership with them to bring our unique product offering to market. SMART is a natural choice for us given that a significant portion of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos.”

With this commendable undertaking, our hardworking seamen and their families back home are assured of a continuous communication with privacy. One that they have never enjoyed before.

This leading wireless services provider with over 27 million subscribers on its GSM network is always a step ahead of its competitors. Only recently, it had launched another first in the telecom industry, Smart myTV. This enables cellphone users to watch their favorite shows on their handheld phones. With that trailblazing feat, do we see SMART, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PLDT, getting the exclusive right soon to sell the iPhone in the Philippines?

Cool. I’m impressed.

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