Monday, February 07, 2005

SBD Vision and Mission

Hi, my name is Dondi Mapa. I recently accepted a job as a Commissioner with the CICT (Commission on Information and Communications Technology) of the Republic of the Philippines. I'm starting this blog as a way of sharing the challenges I face on the job, and more importantly, as a way of getting valuable inputs and feedback from well-meaning folk.

The CICT is "the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating, and administrative entity of the executive branch of Government" for ICT-related matters. (to view Executive Order No. 269, click here). The CICT is headed by its chairman, Secretary Virgilio L. Peña.

My assignment is to head the group known as the "Strategic Business Development Group" (SBD) which essentially looks after the development of the private sector. There are three other groups in the CICT:

  • the e-Government Development Group, headed by Commissioner Timmy Diaz de Rivera,
  • the Information Infrastructure Development Group, headed by Commissioner Elberto Emphasis, and
  • the Human Capital Development Group, headed by Commissioner Emmanuel Lallana.

The SBD group envisions an ICT-enabled business environment that shapes and empowers the economic dreams and aspirations of the 21st century Filipino. Our mission is three-fold, as follows:

  • to develop a world-class cyberservices cluster (cyberservices are services delivered over the net, such as offshore transcription, call handling, and business process outsourcing)
  • to promote SME competitiveness through the use of ICT (the more SMEs using ICT, the more ICT jobs there will be), and
  • to strengthen the core segments of the ICT sector (hardware, software, telecomms, consulting, and systems integration).

In the process of achieving this vision/mission, we hope to achieve the milestone of generating 1 million ICT-related jobs in the Philippines by 2010! (or even earlier, if possible).

It's clearly a big, hairy, audacious goal. In order to achieve it, our group intends to develop (or to strengthen, if already present) certain market conditions that will allow the creation of these 1 million jobs. These conditions would include access to international markets, availability of human capital, appetite for financial investment, adequate telecomms infrastructure, appropriate regulatory measures, et cetera. We'll be working very closely with other government agencies such as DTI, DFA, DOLE, NEDA, and DOST and GFIs such as DBP and LBP.

Well that's enough for now, I should think. I'd appreciate some feedback on whether the stuff outlined above is easily digested, or needs further clarification.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be coming back with postings on our "flagship projects". These 5 flagship projects bring together 25 key initiatives that were identified in workshop-style consultations with various private sector groups. I look forward to getting comments, criticisms, and of course, suggestions.

(I'll also be posting sporadic reflections on what it's like to work in government after 20 years of working in the private sector. ;-)


At Mon Feb 07, 08:29:00 PM, Blogger dondimapa said...

P.S. An obvioius question to ask at this point would be, "How many ICT-related jobs are there in the Philippines as of 2004?". Unfortunately, there's not an obvious answer. Guesses range from 60,000 to 90,000.

One of the flagship projects is to try to get an accurate estimate and to keep an accurate count going forward. Regardless of whether it's 60k or 90k, one thing's for sure: we got a long way to go!

At Mon Feb 07, 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Sambalenyo said...

Hi Dondi,

Congratulations for your new position. Looks like the Phil government has taken very serious step in the IT area. I'm sure there are many projects that can generate your one million IT jobs target. I just filed my U.S. federal and state tax returns using the internet and my refund is coming via direct deposit to my bank account. Almost every bill I pay is done also through the internet. I can see that between the point where the Philippines is in IT and where the U.S. is now, IT opportunities abound.

At Tue Feb 08, 01:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOu want a million jobs for the Philippines ?? Better get the attititude fixed of the developers and the developing companies there. How do you handle standards? Why dont you spend a ffew months in Bangalore India to understand how they are so successful.

And stop promoting the Philippines !!!! Rather promote what quality of work can be done by companies.

In addition, you want to get jobs in other countries? How do you get it ? Put a HQ in the country, get a small team of developers and Project Managers and Sales people to stay in that country and market their services. Then those in the Philippines are in the back end and they are working in coordination to make sure the job is done correctly, in time, and with the necessary documentation

I hate the bullshit of this government to say those things when they dont even hell know how to do it !!!

Too much bull, not enough bark.

Stop setting targets!!! Just improve the capabilities !!!

At Tue Feb 08, 01:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dondi!

I can make a few suggestions:

1. Promote the use and study of open source technologies
in the Philippines. Admittedly, such technologies
will turn many development and business models upside
down, but it may be time for that. Things such as
bid requirements may have to change. Qualification
standards for government project bids will have to
change too as these favor proprietary software.

2. This one isn't directly IT-related, but we MUST stop
the imposition of new taxes at once! No government
can justify new taxes when the revenues from existing
taxes is siphoned away by massive corruption? Why
should the people be made to pay for stupidity and
greed in government. More taxes will directly affect
IT companies (in fact, ALL companies). Stop the
corruption and the government won't have a fiscal
crisis at all.

Manny Amador
Opensource Technology Assocation
of the Philippines (Open Minds)

At Tue Feb 08, 06:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dondi,

I just wrote a book coming out this May in the U.S. that will address how to develop tech SME's that can contribute to your goal.

The name of the book is Rice Bowl & Chips (ISBN 0-595-34583-2). It will be available through,, most US bookstores by order (specially Barnes and Noble) and locally through Powerbooks (still working w/them on this). There may also be some mini flyers in most Starbucks branches in the next few weeks.

For people who would like to know more, they can check out

Dennis Posadas
Author, "Rice Bowl & Chips"
ISBN 0-595-34583-2

At Tue Feb 08, 07:43:00 AM, Blogger joey said...

Hi Dondi, congratulations! And welcome to the blogosphere :)

Let's talk about SBD and the CICT's goal of creating a million ICT-related jobs. E-mail me at if you're interested.


-- Joey Alarilla

At Tue Feb 08, 08:09:00 AM, Blogger Jared said...

Hi Dondi,

I agree with Manny, Support Open Source Technologies. Also, we should not only concentrate on ICT workers on getting jobs but on ICT-based entrepreneurship as well. Help more ICT-based startups get funding. We need to have a lot of locally started ICT companies, in order to have a highly industrialized middle-class and alleviate brain-drain.

Good luck,


At Tue Feb 08, 08:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government Agencies should use Filipino companies' IT Services rather than that of foreigners. A secret deal almost went through over Christmas involving P2Billion with a Government entity but was smartly revoked.The deal was carried in all dailies but was silent when revoked. What will your commission do about such matters?

At Tue Feb 08, 08:41:00 AM, Blogger Dennis Valdes said...

Donds - congrats on taking the government job. That decision alone deserves kudos. There are a couple of local people you may want to meet and talk to, if you haven't yet. 1. Ernest Cu of SPI and 2. the guys from PICS - the Phil Internet Commerce Society - Norelyn Babiera, Maan Tolentino, etc., etc. If you need any intros, email me.
- Dennis V.

At Tue Feb 08, 11:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dondi!

Long time no see, and congratulations on the new post. Definitely sounds like an interesting challenge! :)

Looking forward to seeing how things evolve for you.

Regards and good luck!
Michelle Dy

At Tue Feb 08, 11:49:00 AM, Blogger JJ Disini said...

Hi Dondi,

Welcome to the Blogosphere! As the first high-ranking official to do this, I hope great things will happen with this blog.



At Tue Feb 08, 01:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new post. It's inspiring to see people with your background join the government bureaucracy. Hope you will withstand the pressure as I'm reminded of the unfortunate experience of the former Finance Secretary.

My 2 cents worth of input:

Systematically strengthen or institutionalize the linkage between the academe and the industry. Learn from the experience of the Ayala "incubator" project in UP Diliman.

I believe it would also be good if Universities starting with UP Diliman can be influenced to include subjects on entrepreneurship in the curriculum of engineering and physics courses. Maybe the the post-graduate course at UP TEchnology Management Center can be modified and offered to college students as well with a required subject on entrepreneurship using Rich Dad, Poor Dad as reference textbook. This way, highly talented IT students will likewise develop entrepreneural skills and end up developing start-ups rather than graduate into mere salaried employees.

Finally tap and seriously support the ICT-based startup development initiatives of the likes of Dado Banatao, Paco Sandejas and Dennis Posadas of PESO/BGN.

At Tue Feb 08, 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Sef said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, sir. We look forward to see your future posts detailing how to generate that 1M jobs.

At Wed Feb 09, 02:19:00 AM, Blogger Martin Angelo Dideles said...

Hi Dondi,

I just read the infotech news and read about the one millionICT job article news. Its good to know you have a blogger site.

Well I am Martin / / these are my sites I am into ICT consultancy based in Mindanao, work primarily in Telecoms, CATV, VOIP, Wireless, and Web Database Programming.

I read some comments from other visitors, others so pessimistic and reactive, but they have some point of view. Yes Its right we need to support existing ICT Companies Capabilities, because its them that hires, not the Government.

Well here's my suggestions Sir,

1. Yes we need to support existing ICT Companies, if possible provide them Government Sponsored training with a very good ICT speakers, maybe hire some succesful ICT CEO in bangalore india to speak in Philippines. There will be someone from Government who will look for the existing resources we have, and how these resources can be gather and expands its services.

2. Here in Mindanao, there are world class talents here from Programming, Graphic Designing, Web, Video Editint, etc. and also you can find them nationwide in the Philippines. There are many skilled ICT workers
here but the problem is the "Demand" ICT skilled workers are many, Supply is full but "Demand" is low. So Government and CICT commision will need to work out on the Demand part, but before working the Demand Part, CICT would need first to Account its resources. its correct and a perfect Idea to develop a portal for
registrations of skilled ICT workers, in that way we can categorized our resources. After categorizing and accounting our resources, the website or the CICT will sell the resources to foreign and local investors for these services. Example a digital editing company in the US will be invited to open an outsourcing Company in the Philippines in Digital editing with the profiles of registrants and resume related to digital editing forwarded to them. CICT job will be accounting and categorizing the ICT resources, after that selling the resources to investors.

3. To enable One MIllion ICT job in the Philippines, our network first and our telecom needs to change its traditional system, These are the hindrance sometimes in fast tracking our ICT development. VOIP bill and traditional communication billing system needs to be modeled in First world countries. PLDT in its network disable VOIP systems, which is sometimes part in Call Centers. Opening a Call Center in the Mindanao for example, you would need leased lines, A network with Public IP which is mostly scarce or available in a very much higher price. Congress must act in providing
not only telecom standard but leased line standard. I salute Sun Cellular for its 24/7 system which is mostly the system for first world countries. Bringing down telecommunication and network costs is one way we can advance with other countries.

4. Before 2010, some of the ICT workers are yet students now, I salute DECS STEP (Student Technology Entrepreneurship Program) in Public High Schools nationwide, these program enables students to compete in Web Designing. Desktop Publishing, Computer Book keeping. I once attended these competition as a Judge in web designing, and I really salute the students in their masterpiece jobs in webdesigning. DECS must include also subjects such as webdesigning, graphic designing, programming in highschool students. Skip off the DOS and Basic subjects which is mostly thought in High schools. High School subjects in ICT must focus more on applications not on the basics, who cares now about BASIC and DOS? but if a student knows how to do desktop publishing he could earn money through doing calling cards...

5. I have worked in the past years in one Paptelco Company, which is providing Telecom system. These Paptelco companies is once one of the great earning companies that pays taxes to our Government, but now with the advent of new technologies and cellphones, these companies are little by litle dying. These companies when tap, we can find skilled ICT personnels within them. Government need to support them, CICT commision can support them by providing Seminars of how can they expand their services, If possible Government can partner with them in deploying VOIP networks to Government Agencies, Helping them will increase also hiring of CICT jobs. CICT dept, also can held seminar on how to set up Call Center system on Paptelcos, and let them do setting up Call Centers.

6. Lastly CICT needs not only jobs but also CICT business, I know a person who have set up a portal for online ordering of Local products from here to abroad. Here in Mindanao theres a lot of products to export. CICT Dept. can help them in having Seminar on how to sell your products online, on how to using Ebay. If these business people can earn through online selling, mostly they will hire ICT worker to do the online transactions.

Well i think i have contributed Dondi, Hope we can be in contact sometimes, I like to help as well provide my services in some ICT related projects.

Hope youre department have funds in Networking Mindanao, providing networks and internet in Schools that would help them. I can support these projects, by providing wireless installation and sales.

Martin Angelo Dideles /
+63 919 2980744

At Wed Feb 09, 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the first things that should be done to reach one million IT professionals by 2010 is to make sure that schools are equipped to train students to become IT savvy. I have worked in various industries including the academe and I am pained to see that many of the IT instructors themselves need a lot of instruction in newer IT trends.

Instructors in a lot of "IT" schools (which I view as third-rate diploma mills) are so wrapped up in their books and coursewares they ignore the reality that is out there.

Perhaps a change is in order regarding this: review the CHED requirements for IT instructors; make sure they have had industry experience before they are allowed to teach, or at least make them earn a few years experience in actual IT tasks (programming, systems administration, security, DB management, digital imaging, networking, etc.).

CHED is overly obsessed with paper credentials (diplomas, transcripts, training certificates): this must not be so for IT-related courses. In fact, I know many IT professionals who only finished two year courses who are a lot better than 4-year graduates of Computer Science but couldn't teach in college due to CHED requirements. If you ask me, I'd get instruction from an undergrad who has been handling software development work for years, rather from a 4-year grad who has never programmed for a company.

I'm an undergrad working in a multinational IT firm as an IT Manager. I have trained hundreds of people in IT. I have soken to thousands of students. My communication skills are very good. I've been programming for 20 years (and am in my early 30s), and am exposed to cutting-edge technologies. I directly handle projects worth over 50 milion pesos, and have a dozen high-caliber IT professionals under me, but I can't teach in college because I lack a degree... even if teaching is second nature to me. Why is that?

Yet I see -- at best -- mediocre instructors who grossly misunderstand technology and teach hogwash to impressionable college students. Weird.

I am not alone. There are hundreds like me, many a lot better than I am, who wish to impart our skills in schools but cannot do so because we lack a silly diploma.

We love our country, we love technology, and we wish to help; but the system prevents us from doing so. Do you have any idea on how to address this?


At Tue Feb 15, 11:50:00 AM, Anonymous frank holz said...

Dondi, nice photo!! You captured the substance of the meeting. I am looking forward to working with you and with the team to help identify opportunities to expand the software industry in the country. It starts with reliable data. Regards, Frank

At Wed Mar 30, 10:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One interesting statistic I would like to share. OFWs send around US$8B/year while India's offshore software companies generate US$16B/year. Hmmm.... Something to think about?

At Wed Mar 30, 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I'm Jude Cartalaba, a Web Content Writer-Editor for and also one of the core-facilitators of PinoyWriters, a group that envision to bring the Filipino writing talent into the Global arena, and has a tagline: Create. Communicate. Celebrate.

I left this message in the hope of connecting with you for me to write an article on ICT in the Philippines.

You can send me an email.

At Tue Jun 28, 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Dax Solomon Umaming said...

Manny Amador is right. Promote Open Source! Believe it or not, it will pave way to millions of jobs in the future instead of relying on M$. Why pay thousands of pesos for an Operating System while we could download and install it for free. Why pay tens of thousands for software developer's tools if the OS that we downloaded already has it, and it's free. The cost of development suite are actually hindering the growth of our software industry. How much do you need to spend to develop a good software for M$? And once it's developed, would you give it away for free? I think not especially since you paid a fortune for the developer's suite. But if the OS & tools are provided for free, you might also think of providing the software you created for free also. Not to mention that since it's source code is available, other developers would be able to modify it and make it better. Therefore making it a much superior product while giving students access to a good source code, teaching them, making them better. If only thousands or millions of people have access to an open source OS & tools, then maybe we'll be much more competitive when it comes to developing good softwares than other countries. Making Filipinos in demand. US & European companies would then invest in our country, giving us more jobs in return.

At Tue Jul 12, 01:05:00 PM, Blogger jun asis said...

In the field of education at least, use open-source. Also, use and promote Moodle to develop content that can be shared across academic institutions. The cost savings should then be used to buy computers, establishing shared infrastructure, train educational personnel.

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At Thu Sep 04, 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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