Following the election of the new set of Board of Trustees (BoTs) done during the General Assembly, the current members of the Philippine Community eCenter (PhilCeCNet) officers welcomed the incoming elected BoTs during the acquaintance meeting held on 6 October 2020. Self-introductions and sharing of their wishes for PhilCeCNet were individually done by the attendees.
During the early part of this meeting, Dir. Maria Teresa M. Camba, a PhilCeCNet pioneer and currently one of its technical advisers, was requested to share the background on how the PhilCeCNet started. According to her, it began when she attended the World Summit of Information Society in 2003. She represented the Philippines in this summit being the lead implementor of the Community eCenter (CeC) Program. In this event, she met people from telecenter.org, a program funded by International Development Research Center (IDRC). Dir. Camba clearly recalls that “IDRC was interested in the Philippines, they assisted us in developing the CeC roadmap and encouraged us to form a network.” IDRC was then organizing a global movement of CeCs to assist the government in implementing CeC initiatives. “IDRC provided assistance for us to gather,” imparted Dir. Camba. According to her, the first meeting to form the network was held in Cebu. It was attended by various stakeholders and was later launched as an informal organization during the 2003 Knowledge Exchange Conference held in Heritage Hotel.
Dir. Camba further explained that “It was a priority program, we know what we want to do with the program in the next three years and we also dealt with organizations who can help us.” The PhilCecNet later became a non-government organization. Having it registered, the network is now an inter-agency and inter-sectoral organization composed of people who shared the same vision of bringing the ICT to the grassroots.
Dir. Cheryl C. Ortega, another PhilCeCNet pioneer and currently a technical adviser, shared that it started as an offshoot of the training for capability building activities from the CeCs which later became Tech4ED program. “Since then until now, I am a living member of PhilCeCNet. I am so pleased and happy that the network is there, still strong and able because it has grown to be a solid organization of different center managers across the country with abled leadership on the part of the officers,” Dir. Ortega articulated.
Dr. Richard E. Amansec, PhilCeCNet Treasurer, did a short briefing on what PhilCeCNet is, what it does, the composition and roles of the officers and BoTs.
Attendees include the newly-elected sectoral representatives. CeC Manager representatives are Ms. Marylene C. Castilan (San Fabian Tech4ED Center), Ms. Conchita Marta B. Mirabueno (Mauban eLearning Ville), Mr. Benro L. Pacis (Mogpog Tech4ED Center), Dr. Ma. Cristina B. Orbecido (NOLITC Tech4ED Center), Mr. Glenn A. Sanchez (Villanueva Tech4ED Center) and Ms. Mary Ann A. Cortado (M’lang Tech4ED Center). Mr. Jayson X. Redoblado (F. Bustamante National HS) is the elected end-user representative.
Also in attendance are the current members of the BoTs: Engr. Romarico Cabellon, Mr. Marvin A. Jacela and Mr. Pierangelo B. Alejo; and members of the secretariat: Ms. Annabelle B. Carandang and Ms. Emely M. Amoloza.
This meet and greet served as a venue for the PhilCeCNet technical advisers and current officers to congratulate and warmly welcome the newly-elected officers. This likewise enabled everyone to get acquainted with one another; learning each other’s strengths and capabilities which can form part as a foundation for a strong relationship which is valuable in achieving a common goal for the benefit of the organization.