FMA, with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, and in collaboration with the Department of ICT and Internet Society-Philippines Chapter, held an Internet Governance (IG) Symposium on December 11, 2018 at Malolos Resort Club Royale, Malolos City, Bulacan.

The event is part of the IG roadshow that kicked off in Davao on October 23, 2018, which aims to gather a wide array of multistakeholders from all over the country and discuss issues in relation to the internet. In particular, the event aimed to:

  1. Promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of internet governance by local communities through a multistakeholder approach;
  2. Bring people together from different sectors as equals, in facilitating the exchange of information and best practices, and in this regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, civil society, government and technical communities at the local level; and
  3. Discuss emerging issues, concerns, and public policy issues relating to the internet, and bring those issues and concerns to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations.

In a country where half of the population is online, and one that claims to be number one when it comes to social media, the internet plays a big role. It has transformed the way Filipinos seek, exchange, consume and create information, as well as enhance citizen participation in building democratic spaces. As former UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue says, the internet facilitates the realization of a broad range of rights including freedoms of opinion and expression, association and assembly.

Panel discussions on issues such as privacy and data protection, big data, blockchain, online gender-based violence, disaster risk reduction, cybersecurity, and the rise in “fake news” were tackled in the symposium.

Around 100 participants from Luzon attended, including high-ranking officials from government agencies, local organizations, as well as important stakeholders from the academe, the private sector, tech industry, and civil society.

The IG roadshows hope to be the springboard that will catapult the holding of the first ever Philippine Internet Governance Forum.

Speaker Presentations:

Internet Governance: Challenges, Issues and Roles of Stakeholders

1. Introduction to Internet Governance

2. Mainstreaming Gender and Women in ICT

3. Philippine Internet Policy Landscape and Reforms

4. Privacy and Data Protection

Thematic Issues 1: Access, Diversity and Inclusion

1. ICTs for Persons with Disabilities

2. Empowering Women through ICTs

3. Integrating ICTS into Teaching and Learning

4. Tech4ED Project: Digital Inclusion

5. Free WiFi Updates

Thematic Issues 2: Emerging Technologies for Public Good

1. How Big Data Defeated Dengue in Dagupan

2. Introduction to Blockchain Technology

3. Disaster Risk and Reduction Management

4. Digital Economy and Start-ups

Thematic Issues 3: Cybersecurity and Information Disorder

1. Battling Misinformation: How to Fight Back against “Fake News”

2. Protecting Human Rights Defenders Online

3. Cybersecurity: The Government Response