Democracy.Net.PH Statement on PNoy’s SONA 2013

Democracy.Net.PH Statement on PNoy’s SONA 2013

Democracy.Net.PH commends President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino’s 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA), and joins in his praise of hardworking government agencies, officials, and employees whose efforts have contributed to the President’s positive report to the country.

Democracy.Net.PH hoped for more emphasis on information and communications technology (ICT) policy. Many of the projects and policy efforts mentioned in the SONA depend on the sustained growth of the Philippine ICT and Internet sector, among them the expansion of IT-BPO job opportunities and monitoring systems for disaster risk management and reduction.

That said, Democracy.Net.PH believes that the SONA clearly demonstrated the President’s awareness of the importance of ICT and the Internet in the daily lives of Filipinos. The SONA further showed that the President’s goals were aligned with the fundamental principles of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (#MCPIF).

President Aquino declared, “[W]hatever the situation may be, our principle is that anything worth doing is worth doing right.” The #MCPIF, a holistic framework anchored on rights, governance, development, and security, is Philippine ICT and Internet policy done right.

The President spoke that “[E]ach project has to go through the correct process that our taxpayers’ hard-earned money will be spent the right way.” The #MCPIF incorporates many of the Open Government initiatives of the Office of the President. It promotes transparency and good governance through a streamlined bureaucracy with ICT-enabled, public service-centric processes. With improved Internet access, speed, and reliability enjoyed across the country, the #MCPIF paves the way for meaningful people’s participation in governance. The President also spoke of building a credible defense posture; we believe the #MCPIF helps bring this about by providing guidance to our Armed Forces of the Philippines toward national cybersecurity, particularly the protection of critical Philippine infrastructure.

Anchored on rights, the #MCPIF protects the freedom of expression online that allows everyone the opportunity to learn about social issues, give feedback to the government, and propose solutions. “For every student who strives to be aware of social issues, and does not just complain on Facebook but actually proposes solutions: This is your SONA,” the President said.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is the ICT and Internet freedom bill that actually proposes solutions. This is your #MCPIF.