Group 11 (Team Sodium)
ICT’s: Tools for Development, NOT Destruction
Information and Communication technologies (or ICT) has come a long way in the Philippines, from radios and television to computers and smart phones. According to the TNS, a global customized research company, of the 38,000 respondents in Metro Manila, 75 percent of the respondents surveyed used mobile phones to take photos or videos; 45 percent to browse the internet; 44 percent to access their social networking sites; and 37 percent to check their emails (philstar.com). The number of Filipinos that have access to ICT are increasing. With that, many have access to its advantages such as new tools for teaching and learning, 24/7 access to information and resources, new ways of communicating and self-expression. During the typhoon Yolanda, ICT proved to be very effective in sending out messages on the current state of the affected people, those who had access in remote areas were able to reach others. Help and donations came in, roads and alternate routes were mapped, even lost loved ones were found once more. Even now, several advocacies are voiced out through new forms of ICT’s. But as they say, power is dangerous when in falls to the wrong hands.
Despite the many advantages of ICT’s, its potentials are also subject to abuse and misuse. It has brought about new forms of violence against women: sexual violence, harassment, cybersex, child pornography, stalking, cyber-bullying and invasion of privacy. Speed coupled with anonymity makes such forms of violence harder to control. Technology is developing exponentially, and at times laws and legislators cannot keep up. In the Philippines, a potential law exists: the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. But as of now, it serves as a threat to freedom of expression and data security.
For now, what we can do is to train to protect ourselves from cybercrime and be vigilant of the laws that may become threats to us rather than help to improve ICT’s.
We must keep in mind that technology isn’t bad nor good, it is neutral. It serves only as a tool. A tool for development or destruction? That is up to us.
 Article: More Filipinos use cellphones as mobile computers’: study. Updated July 2, 2013. URL: www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/07/02/961059/more-filipinos-use-cellphones-mobile-computers-study