Press Release
June 27, 2006

Bring I.T Education to the GRASSROOTSAngara

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today cited the tremendous potential of Information Technology (IT) in bringing about progress not only to urban centers, but also to rural areas throughout the country.

We brag about the magic of information technology, but in fact it is only benefiting the few of us in the urban centers. Why dont we bring its benefits and advantages to the rural areas? said Angara, speaking before professors and researchers at the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS).

The technology boom has so far bypassed people in far flung rural areas. But once integrated into the smallest villages, I.T. can benefit farmers and fisherfolk as well, Angara added.

Angara said countries that utilize new technology, whether in agricultural productivity or industrial capacity, are already miles ahead of the Philippines in nearly every aspect.

In India and Brazil, I.T. professionals have succeeded in teaching illiterates how to access the internet. Rural farmers can now know in real time the prices of fertilizers, pesticides, wheat and rice, and weather updates just by surfing the web, he added.

Angara is currently undertaking a Digital Village pilot project in Baler, Aurora where computer kiosks with internet access can be used by farmers and fisherfolk to download information on market prices, weather forecasts and agricultural databases.

Filipino farmers have an excellent chance of learning based on the experience of Indian farmers who are mostly illiterate but were able to adapt to modern technology and have become prosperous in the process. I envision that someday our middle-class would come from the farming community, said Angara.

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