On an article posted by Jason Banico:
After 5 years of conducting the MICT Congress, why is it that the people behind it are especially noisier this year? Monchito Ibrahim, of the Commission on ICT, answers this succinctly: Mindanao, aside from being the food basket of the nation, is now recognized as a viable source of skilled I.T. workers. However, there are serious challenges that are hampering the island economy from realizing its full potential. The conduct of the 6th MICT Congress is based upon addressing these challenges.
Increasingly we are faced with the specter of globalization. The playing field is at a much higher level now, and if we remain reluctant to forge ahead, we are in danger of losing out to more aggressive and single-minded competitors. One of which is China. This nominally Communist nation has apparently embraced capitalism, seemingly without much reservation. We see now that their sheer population size alone poses a threat to our ability to excel in the global arena. For example, some parts of China receive a hundredfold more I.T. outsourcing projects from Japan than we do.
Mindanao, led by Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, stands a fighting chance. We do have highly-skilled and I.T. professionals, as well as a supply of trainable personnel. A good number of whom, unfortunately, are no longer within our borders. That’s one problem: brain drain. Another is this: How steady will this manpower supply be 5, 10 years hence? Is our educational infrastructure coping with the changing technologies? Are our schools adapting their curricula to meet the stringent requirements of I.T. companies?
This issue is involved, to say the least, but it is not yet moot. There will be no quick fixes for this industry-academe situation, but working towards the solution must be begun immediately. Fortunately, we have a working model upon which to build and improve: the MICT itself, and the synergies that have successfully sprung up only this year.
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