Bumps on the information superhighway

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The Cebu Yearbook 2006 is out. Here’s part of the unedited article I submitted for publication:

One municipal government’s website in Visayas is being maintained by its meat inspector.

Frederick Amores, Visayas group head of the National Computer Center (NCC) Field Operations Office, could barely contain his laughter as he said this in an interview. The NCC was conducting a seminar for IT workers of local government units (LGUs) and Amores was checking the background of the participants when he saw the meat inspector’s bio-data.

The meat inspector’s post was the only vacant position the town could offer to the person most qualified to manage their information technology (IT) needs. The town, the name of which Amores could no longer recall, still did not have an IT position in its plantilla.

“He’s really good. It was a good thing that the guy also qualified for the meat inspector’s post because he had an animal husbandry degree, I mean many people in the industry did not really graduate from IT courses. His assistant does the meat inspection while he takes care of the IT tasks,” Amores said.

This lack of IT workers hampers the improvement of many local government websites. In a typical Philippine town, Amores said, the IT person in charge “serves as web master, computer repairman, database administrator and encoder.”

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