The Philippines has fallen

Image from Sprout Video

The Philippines has fallen, and it is not worth dying for anymore.

The Philippines hasn’t been critically hit by the Corona Virus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise.

Due to the pandemic, private institutions, businesses, and companies shut down operations. Even the mighty Philippine government (Local Government Units) has been paralyzed. Because of this condition, a total lockdown has been ordered by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

Workers from different aspects of life were unable to attend their work. Minimum wage earners lock themselves within their homes to avoid infection.

Because of this situation, the innovative minds of Filipinos have been noticeable.

Fortunately, people living in cities with good internet connectivity utilized their time selling online products, services, and cuisines. On the other hand, those who live in far-flung areas are in misery.

Marginalized areas are in distress because of these underlying situation of the Philippines today.

Undeveloped ICT Infrastructure

Today, as the new normal approaches, many scholars quote that working from home is the best choice to make.

It’s good to hear that working from home is one of the choices to pursue in order to make the Philippine economy going. However, they’ve forgotten how our current ICT infrastructure works.

In 2016, DICT, the forefront of the Philippines in building up ICT infra has been officially approved.

Since then, I’ve never seen a dramatic improvement in ICT infrastructure the day it was launched. The past years were all about laws and IRR which I think is less helpful than building up towers and laying pipelines.

The Philippine ICT infrastructure is the same for 4 years after. Undeveloped. Unchanged.

Impromptu Webinars

Thanks to COVID-19, the Philippine government analyzes that people need seminars to attend to.

There were no webinars prior to the pandemic. What they did before was posting a bunch of reminders, notices, and announcements. And it’s not useful at all.

Then here come’s the pandemic. A light bulb showed up on their bewildered coconut.

Why not provide free online seminars in Facebook and Youtube?

I’ve attended their online seminars regarding cybersecurity about “Online Safety & Protection” and “Online Privacy”. Yes, they have good intentions. They share basic knowledge about specific topics. And they hire good speakers too!

But, what I have noticed was their viewership. I’ve encountered the same online classmates every time they’re live on social media. The attendees are all professionals and experts.

They should address the webinars specifically those who really need it.

Webinars are good if attended by persons who need it the most. Not for those who are just wasting their idle time.

Underpaid IT Engineers in the Government Sectors

IT Engineers in the local government sectors are underappreciated and underpaid. Entry-level developers are rated Php 10, 000 ($ 200.00) gross income per month.

But in the private sector, the same credentials are earning Php 20, 000 ($400.00) gross income a month.

That is one of the problems why Filipinos try their fortune outside the Philippines.

Not only engineers are experiencing this condition, but all other professions in the Philippines.

It is because the salaries are so much higher in many other countries. And there are more opportunities for available jobs.

Furthermore, the DICT doesn’t have personnel at the local level to scrutinize the information systems being installed. That is why many cities are not ready nor prepared in digital transformation.

High-Speed Internet Connection

What can we gain from under-developed ICT Infrastructure? Yes! internet connection speed.

According to the latest charts, the Philippines ranks 6th in ASEAN countries with 5.5 Mbps average internet speed. Singapore tops the list with 20.3 Mbps utilizing LTE.

Also, the Philippines also ranks 6th in LTE with 8.2 Mbps in ASEAN countries. Singapore tops the list with 46.64 Mbps using LTE.

The Philippines ranks 98th amongst the country worldwide. It falls flat down from the 90th position.

If work from home jobs is the preferred kind of work, then we are not prepared. This only applies to areas with good internet speeds.

How about those marginalized sectors? Will they get any benefit from it?

Did you know that the Philippines, people pay more for slower internet? It is because of the duopoly going on in the heart of “Pearl of the Orient Seas”

Do we really need to pay premium for an Internet connection that’s often slow and — most times — unreliable?

Deceptive Minds Exploiting Digital Transformations

Many influential professionals within the organization use digital transformation as a cover of their hidden agenda.

We have been encountering such scenarios at the bottom of the food chain. Crooked minds halted the full application and implementation of information systems.

These systems could fuel the local economies and fast track the ease of doing business in the city. Meaning it could boost the income of the city due to its developed structure.

Because of the irregularities and dishonesties of these powerful people, we can’t move forward.

Since it is one of the main reasons, we have to suffer from it. We, the innocent people, who pay taxes are the victims.

“The Philippines has Fallen” was originally published on Medium. It is a series of stories which commonly tackles the terrible things happening in the Philippines.

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