Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rent-free locations in Subic offered

Rent-free locations in Subic offered
to Taiwanese high-tech firms

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will now offer rent-free locations to Taiwanese companies engaged in high-technology ventures.

Armand Arreza, SBMA administrator, said the incentive was agreed upon during the joint economic conference between Taiwan and the Philippines last week.

During the conference, Philippine officials led by Trade Undersecretary Thomas Aquino also forged an agreement with Taiwanese counterparts to grant Taiwanese manufacturers in Subic and the nearby Clark Freeport reduced tariffs under the Asean Free-Trade Area’s common effective preferential tariff scheme.

Under the agreement, the Taiwanese experts will also be sent to the country to assist in training integrated circuit designers.

The rent-free incentive, which will apply within the Subic and Clark free ports, will be good for three to five years and will cover firms that will each commit a minimum investment of $25 million.

Arreza said the inducement was meant to spur the entry of more high-technology firms in a bid to put up the country’s technological capability at par with major Asian economies.

“We’ve been pushing to attract companies in information and communication technology, software design, biotechnology and the like, and this new incentive is a concrete manifestation of our intentions to build our capabilities and be globally-competitive,” he said.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, there are now 79 Taiwanese firms in Subic, with total investment commitments worth $780 million. In Clark, eight Taiwanese companies have put up ventures worth $360 million.

Taiwanese are the second biggest investor group in Subic in terms of investment value, while Korean firms, boosted by the $1.6-billion shipyard project of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. came in first.

Arreza said that with the new rent-free incentive, the SBMA expects to realize its long-term “Cyber-Subic” program, which focuses on developing ICT facilities in Subic and roping in investors in the so-called knowledge industries.

He said that the agency has already reserved locations for ICT industrial clusters in coordination with the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp., owner of the industrial park where most Taiwanese firms at the Freeport are now located.
-- Katrina Mennen A. Valdez


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Updated Firefox browser eyes world download record

Mozilla on Tuesday released an improved version of its Firefox web browser that has gained popularity as a free alternative to Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer.

Mozilla said Firefox 3 promises Internet surfing that is fast, secure, and easy to customize because it is designed to adapt to people's online activities.

The company claimed the new Firefox version, available in 50 languages, is at least twice as fast as its predecessor and boasts "15,000 improvements" including malware protection.

"We're really proud of Firefox 3 and it just shows what a committed, energized global community can do when they work together," Mozilla chief executive John Lilly said in a release.

The Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds and refines public, open-source software in a collaborative manner with input from engineers around the world.

Mozilla is rallying devotees to help it set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours.

But interest in the Mountain View, California, organization's new-generation browser was so intense before its release Tuesday that traffic to the Mozilla website caused it to crash.

Free downloads of Firefox 3 commenced at http://www.getfirefox.com after the problem was fixed.

Firefox 3 is available free for computers using Windows, Linux, and Macintosh OS X operating systems.

Since its initial launch in 2004, Firefox has spread to more than 175 million users and 230 countries, according to Mozilla.

Mozilla was originally a web navigator code name at defunct Internet firm Netscape when it dominated the Internet browser world more than a decade ago.

Netscape eventually was eclipsed by Internet Explorer, and the company was bought in 1998 by America Online and reduced to brand status.

The Mozilla Organization was established in 1998 to complete the free, open-source software project and it registered as a nonprofit foundation in July of 2003.

The project was so lucrative that the foundation established a for-profit arm, Mozilla Corporation, two years later to handle distribution and sponsorship of the Firefox browser and the Thunderbird e-mail application.

Firefox 1.0 was launched in November of 2004 and gained popularity with companies and young computer users.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

IT bill OK’d

THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading the bill proposing the creation of a Department of Information and Communication Technology.

The authors, led by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte and Camarines Sur. Rep. Diosdado Macapagal-Arroyo, said that the proposal will prevent the country from being left out of the sprinting pace of development in the area of information andcommunications technology.

Speaker Prospero Nograles praised the members of Congress for the immediate action on the House Bill 4300, which he said will ensure a focused attention on a really fast-evolving and increasingly complex global technological phenomenon.

The measure proposed splitting the Department of Transportation and Communication into two departments.

“Our future would depend on our competitiveness and grasp of modern technologies.

Almost every day, new breakthroughs are announced in the IT field. New technologies are becoming more compact but are more powerful. We have to be at pace with technology,” Nograles said.

Other principal authors of the measures are Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez; Paranaque Rep. Roilo Golez; Sorsogon Rep. Jose Solis; Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia; Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara; Northern Samar Rep. Paul Daza; Tarlac Rep. Jesli Lapus; and Western Samar Rep. Sharee Ann Tan.
Jester P. Manalastas - Journal online