I happened to be a JICA expert for an IT project in the Philippines from 2004 to 2008. Under this project, the governments of Japan and the Philippines jointly established an IT training center at UP (University of the Philippines) Diliman, Quezon City. The training center offered one-year full term, intensive, IT training, inclusive of Japanese language for those capable of and interested in becoming an IT professional. The training course was designed for IT certification to be carried out by the PhilNITS. This organization is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government entity implementing an IT certification program for IT standards adopted from Japan (i.e. The Information Technology Engineers Examinations).
Being the founding president of PhilNITS, Ms. Akol has been instrumental
in spearheading, expanding and managing her organization since 2002. It has been to her credit that she has made it possible to keep a good working relationship with both governments; thus, getting technical and financial assistance whenever needed. Ms. Akol has always kept herself busy travelling all over the country explaining the role of the PhilNITS to the IT industry as well as to schools and universities. What inspired her to carry out an IT certification program in the first place? Perhaps her message as posted in the PhilNITS website will shed light on her motivation.
“Our country’s greatest asset and resource is its people, so one can never go wrong in engaging in human resource development projects.” “For us to fully utilize our greatest asset-our people-we need to work double time in developing our IT people into world-class knowledge workers, with sound foundations in math, science and the fundamentals of Information Technology, based on internationally recognized standards.” “The concept of certification, a certification on general knowledge and specific programming skills not tied up with any hardware or software vendor is new.” “………. each one of us has a role in nation building, and each one of us must carry out our roles the best way we know how.” “We hope that we can in our own little way, with the help of God and our generous friends, contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the Filipino people.”
Here is a very brief rundown of the IT industry in the Philippines. It has been successful especially in the field of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing); initially it was call centers for the US, Australia and the UK, namely for English speaking markets. BPO is now expanding to meet the global needs for more sophisticated KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing, such as banking and financial services, legal services, medical services, animation and design).
Before becoming the president of the PhilNITS, Ms. Akol worked in the IT services sector. My best wishes for Ms. Akol, who is an inspiring, energetic, determined, respectful and above all ever cheerful Filipina.