Palace plans village E-centers to expand feedback mechanism

August 17, 2010 9:58 am 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Aug. 17 — The government aims to further boost its communications strategy by establishing soon electronic or E-centers in the country's 42,000 'barangay' units.

Communications group Secretary Herminio Coloma said this will help increase public access to the Internet so more people can either bring their concerns to government's attention, express their views on any issue or propose initiatives for consideration of authorities concerned.

"We'll discuss the matter with local government units," he said.

On Aug. 16 this year, Malacanang launched the presidential website www.president.gov.ph which people can access for their feedback on government.

Coloma assured Malacanang will consider both pro and anti-government feedback so it can generate the best possible action on people's concerns.

"We accept all kinds of feedback," he said.

He said Malacanang welcomes receiving even more feedback once the E-centers are established so it can have more inputs for improving governance.

"Government has no monopoly on wisdom," he noted.

Malacanang believes the E-center project is feasible, noting this neither requires sophisticated nor expensive installation.

"An E-center just needs simple computers and it's no longer expensive to access these," Coloma said.

He also noted Internet access is easier these days since telecommunication companies' respective signals are already available nationwide.

To help expand Malacanang's online feedback mechanism, Coloma said the government tied up with Netopia which is a company that operates a string of Internet shops.

"It's part of Netopia's corporate social responsibility to help increase people's access to the Internet," he noted.

Aside from launching the presidential website, government's communications strategy also covers three other phases.

These are the October 2010 launching of the citizens' online corner within the presidential website (Phase 2) and enlisting there by January 2011 digitally enabled volunteer groups that can help push implementation of government initiatives (Phase 3).

The government is also due to begin in July 2011 online posting of updates on government affairs particularly status of public projects (Phase 4). (PNA)

LDV/CJT/mec

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