This entry is long overdue as it’s been more than two months since I attended the WordCamp Philippines 2012. I plan to write in parts because I don’t want to lose my train of thought. Here goes…
WORDCAMP PHILIPPINES 2012
WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.
That’s how Wordcamp.org describes such event. WordCamps are held in many cities and countries and in the Philippines, the Filipino WordPress community has been holding WordCamp conferences the past four years. I’ve heard of this and I have friends who’ve attended before. I wasn’t as interested but since I decided to go back to blogging, I thought maybe it would be nice for me to join and meet other WordPress bloggers.
More than 170 WordPress users and bloggers gathered at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City last October 27, Saturday. I didn’t know anyone when I came in to the conference so I searched for a possible seatmate. I chose a nice, quiet lady that looks like in her early 20’s. Little did I know Klaris Chua and I would hit it off and would discover we have things in common. (Right, Klaris?:D )
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES USING WORDPRESS
WordCamp Philippines 2012 Keynote by Manuel L. Quezon III
Keynoting the event was Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). Honestly, because I haven’t been following our local news and government, I had no idea about this group commissioned by the Aquino government. I was ashamed of myself but I soon understood the mission of the PCDSPO as explained to us by MLQ3. It is the “chief message-crafting body of the Office of the President“. I realized that President Aquino is serious about communicating to his constituents and the PCDSPO is expected to help him in that area.
Created by the Executive Order No. 4 last July 30, 2010, the PCDSPO is called to do the following:
- provide strategic communication leadership and support to the Executive Branch, all agencies and instrumentalities of government;
- lead the strategic communication of government through the formulation and enforcement of a National Communications Policy;
- open and extende channels of communication between the government and the people [Source]
Sir MLQ3’s presentation “Government Initiatives Using WordPress” provided me the understanding of the communication strategy of the government. I’m glad to hear that the Philippine government under the Pres. Aquino is making an effort to go digital and use social media to further its many projects.
Among the many strategies of the government is re-launching the government website (www.gov.ph) as the digital edition of Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.I was surprised to know that the website uses WordPress as a blogging platform. Wow! But why wouldn’t it be WordPress since the platform is very easy to use. I just didn’t think a more formal and serioius institution like the Philippine government would use such.
The PCDSPO is advancing the Official Gazette website as a government portal that can be accessed by everyone.
The aim is to turn www.gov.ph into a “unified interface in the form of a one-stop source for information and service delivery”
I was happy to know that the government is finally going digital. I know government websites have been around for some time but with Sir Manuel’s group and the advantage of current social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, the government’s initiatives would be further advanced.
However, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office cannot do these things on their own.The group has collaborated with the following government agencies:
- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) where the website’s servers are physically located
- National Computer Center integrating the eSerbisyo functions to www.gov.ph and providing an updated list of citizen services and the redeployment of its intra-government search
- Department of Budget and Management leading the Good Governance and Anti-
Corruption (GGAC) Cabinet Cluster
And since the government agencies still need more help, they have also partnered with a number of public and private groups:
- CD-ASIA to provide digitized archive of government documents
- Internet giant Google providing the government a premium channel www.youtube.com/govph through YouTube Philippines
- other private and academic institution who are interested in contributing to the archives
The government through the Official Gazette aims to preserve institutional memories through the archives and libraries.
The PCDSPO says that WordPress makes it possible for them to easily manage all those content. Choosing WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) was an obvious decision for many reasons.
So really, why WordPress?
1. WordPress is an OPEN SOURCE project. WordPress is free to use and can be freely redistributed. Matt Mullenweg, its developer, believes that every developer and contributor can add something to the platform. Everyone can help in its enhancement by using and modifying the source code.
2. WordPress is SECURE. Notwithstanding the spam comments if your AKISMET key isn’t activated, WordPress is secure because of the regular security updates released and it is easier to lockdown.
3. WordPress is CUSTOMIZABLE. A WordPress site can be customized to a blogger’s heart’s content with custom post types, custom taxonomies, and customizable templates.
So I was right all along to maintain my WordPress site. Moving from Motime to Blogger to Multiply to WordPress, I’ve decided to make it THE platform to use. I’ve lost a number of databases already moving from one domain to another but that’s fine. I am happy with this blog and I hope to launch a new layout if and when I have time. Right now, I’m content with blogging here.
The main lesson I learned from Undersecretary MLQ3’s keynote isn’t about WordPress though. As I mentioned before at my Keep Calm and NOAH Muna feature, Sir Quezon‘s talk got me interested to support the Philippine government in this area. I thought that one way I could help their efforts is to share such information and help promote the projects of the government. I aim to inform through this blog what I know, my experiences, lessons, and the things I believe in–and that includes my hope for a better government.
Like I said before, I’ve always dreamed of a hi-tech, super digital Philippine government and I’m looking at these efforts as only the beginning. I am all for spreading the cause. Won’t you please join me? 🙂
For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NLT)