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ICT can bridge gap between rich, poor â Leni
“But the question is: can it? And does it, really? Because ultimately, we cannot have technology just for the sake of it,” Robredo told the Philippine ICT Summit in Naga City Saturday.
Michael Varcas/File

ICT can bridge gap between rich, poor — Leni

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has urged information and communications technology (ICT) experts to use their knowledge and skills in helping bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the country.

Robredo said technology has real potential for addressing problems such as poverty.

“But the question is: can it? And does it, really? Because ultimately, we cannot have technology just for the sake of it,” Robredo told the Philippine ICT Summit in Naga City Saturday.

“Technology must serve a purpose, and the best mission it must fulfill is to improve the lives of those who, through no fault of their own, are disenfranchised, marginalized, or unable to break the bonds of poverty and suffering,” she added.

According to Robredo, access to technology would highlight the inequality that people experience.

She cited the case of a community in Basilan, which she said has electric power only four hours each day and only in selected areas.

“The mayor and the local leaders there are hard at work in keeping peace, enforcing good governance and transparency, improving the public school system, developing natural resources and invigorating the business environment,” Robredo said.

“But they told us, what good is a smartphone—today’s ubiquitous icon of technological advancement—when they cannot even charge it?” she added.

Robredo noted how technology functions just as an enabler, and that it would be those who use it who would decide what would be its impact.

“You have the skills, the clear sense of direction, the inspiration, and the empathy to make all of these happen,” she told participants of the summit, referring to the potentials that technology offers.

“When you do, children and young people in places like Sumisip may finally be able to use computers to learn to speak a foreign language, or connect with a budding young scientist from the other side of the globe, or learn robotics through an online academy. The possibilities are really endless and the future unimaginably beautiful because there will be a lot less suffering, a lot less inequality, a lot less poverty,” Robredo said.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
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