Philippine Open Source Summit opens

Blogger’s note: Hit refresh to read updates. I’m live-blogging event.

The Philippine Open Source Summit is now open at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City. The two-day summit is

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, speaking for Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, told the delegates that information and communications technology (ICT) should always be guided by the fact that technology is a human creation and should be usd for the betterment of humanity.

He said technology should be used as a tool for nation-building. He urged those in the ICT industry to use technology to be the answer “to what we call global misery.”

In giving an overview of the summit, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedfit) executive director Bonifacio Belen talked about how open source has taken the world by storm.

He said they decided to hold the summit as a way for companies and organizations to understand the “business value of open source.” The summit, he said, is preparatory to the Asian Open Source Conference that will be held in Cebu in October.

After the overview on the summit, heads of local universities and colleges signed a memorandum of agreement with Kwangwoon University.

10:50 a.m. Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua said Cebu “has again broken ground” in hosting the summit.

Chua said there is still a lack of awareness and support for open source software in the country. He said the prevailing option of most consumers is to install pirated software. He said this shows the need for ICT players to spread the word on open source.

Chua also talked about how his department uses open source software for projects ranging from e-government centers to school computer laboratories. He said, however, that government agencies have the option of going either with an open source or proprietary solution.

Chua said the policy of CICT “has always been freedom of choice.” He said their task is to make sure that there exists a fair market place for open source and proprietary software. He said the CICT’s choice of open source software is driven by costs: cheaper computer labs means more computer labs in schools in the country.

Free wi-fi in the CICC plenary hall gets cut off.

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