(Facebook Live courtesy of DICT-Luzon Cluster 2)

This month, the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), along with its partners, the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Internet Society – Philippines Chapter, hosted an Internet Governance (IG) Symposium in Malolos City on December 11th, 2018. The event was the second in a series of IG Roadshows that kicked off in Davao in October 2018. The roadshow is being supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government.

The IG Roadshow aims to use a multistakeholder approach to facilitate knowledge exchange and identify policy issues that will lead to a deeper, more localized understanding of IG. The IG Symposium in Malolos City brought together speakers with a broad range of backgrounds and expertise on various ICT-related issues that were presented in panel discussions. This allowed the participants to learn about and engage with a diverse range of perspectives of various stakeholders. The interactive nature of the event allowed participants to ground information in their local context, which ultimately makes the discourse surrounding IG more relevant and accessible.

The event began with discussions on issues, challenges and roles of stakeholders related to IG. Speakers covered key topics that served as an important foundation for understanding IG, including the basics of how the internet is constructed and controlled, gender mainstreaming and locating the role of women in ICT sector, the internet policy landscape and reforms in the Philippines, and the protection of data and right to privacy. From these talks, participants were able to familiarize themselves with the IG landscape and issues, and begin to consider how this broad and often complicated topic is actually relevant to their own lives, families and communities.

In the afternoon, participants were able to engage with speakers who discussed topics related to three thematic issues: (1) Access, Diversity and Inclusion, (2) Emerging Technologies for Public Good, and (3) Cybersecurity and Information Disorder. Under the first thematic issue, speakers raised issues of inequality related to ICTs, and discussed strategies to close the digital divide. The topics included ICT issues for persons with disabilities and women, integrating ICTs as teaching strategies and the future of free public wifi. The second thematic issue saw dynamic conversations about innovative methods such as the use big data to mitigate the spread of Dengue, blockchain technology, disaster management and start-ups in a digital economy. Finally, the third thematic issue centered on pressing matters that include “fake news”, the protection of human rights defenders, and the government’s response to cybersecurity.

Following the background knowledge that was offered during the first half of the symposium, the afternoon’s focus on thematic issues allowed for a more thorough and in-depth understanding of IG. Both participants and speakers were able to delve into specific knowledge related to IG, and participants were able to gain perspective from the first-hand experiences of the speakers.

As FMA and its partners bring IG Symposiums to different areas of the Philippines, IG knowledge will hopefully continue to find tangible roots in communities across the country.

Next year, the 3rd leg of the IG roadshow will be in the Visayas region and hopefully, we will be able to draw more local IG-related topics based on the experiences of the different stakeholders in the region.#

In case you missed the event, speaker presentations can be accessed through this link https://www.fma.ph/internet-governance-symposium-luzon-leg/

You can also watch the recorded video streaming of the afternoon plenary session here:


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