Welcome Remarks: Senate Tech Talks

August 17, 2023

17 August 2023
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Recto Room, Senate of the Philippines

Isang makabuluhang araw sa ating lahat!

I am grateful that a tech giant like Google is our partner in capacitating our staff and employees in the legislature. I would like to greet and thank Atty. Yves Gonzales, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google Philippines for making this possible.

I welcome our speakers, Bobby Khan, Head of Public Sector, Google Cloud Philippines and Steve Ledzian, Chief Technology Officer, Mandiant Asia Pacific and Japan.

Our guests:
Su Ann Lim, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud;
Tom Acero, Country Manager, Philippines, Mandiant;
Dan Vetrivanathan, Mandiant Customer Engineer; and
Mikhal de Dios, from Vriens and Partners

And of course, thank you to all the senate offices and staff who are present here today.

Our speakers will be discussing exciting topics such as cloud, digital transformation and cybersecurity. In this age of digital transformation, these have become integral to our businesses, national progress, and everyday lives. Google played an impactful role in the way we access and utilize information.

The way we search, communicate, and collaborate has been largely influenced with the products and innovations of this global tech giant.

As principal author of the law creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology, I want to make sure that our people get the best for their education, communication, and other relevant transactions to make their lives easier.

In my home province of Antique, we launched the e-Governance project and the activation of 150 WiFi sites through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, connecting our Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) via our ‘Broad Band ng Masa’ project.

Together with the ASEAN Foundation and Break the Fake Movement, we hosted Digitalino to empower digital literacy among our youth. We are also pushing for a digital literacy bill that will make sure that our nation is equipped with the proper tools in the digital realm.

Moreover, we donated Starlink Internet units in Antique. From Lacaron Integrated School in Sibalom, the project has reached Sta. Ana National High School in the Municipality of Pandan. Up to 150 users can connect simultaneously, download speeds increased to 170.3 mbps, and upload speeds reached 10.8 mbps in the project sites that were identified.

Thanks to Google, the province of Antique, through the Antique Development Foundation and partner organizations will now have 500 Google scholars with courses on Project Management, IT support, Data analytics and UX Design.

Google is also now linking up with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for their flood forecasting project in Region 6. In the advent of the recent typhoons and heavy rains, technology plays a vital role in the safety of our kasimanwas.

Cloud technology has become a game-changer for businesses, offering flexibility and collaboration. The cloud has empowered Philippine businesses and offices to streamline operations, increase productivity, and improve efficiency beyond the boundaries of the physical space. We now have access to a diverse pool of tools and resources to fuel innovation and growth.

However, as we enjoy the benefits of technology and advancement, we must not forget the risks and threats. Thankfully, we have Mandiant to speak about cybersecurity in the Philippines here in the Senate.

The future is here. With the discussions of today, I hope that you will all be equipped with the tools and skills to navigate the digital world responsibly.

I also hope that we can hold more engagements and projects like this to make sure that people in the government are keeping up with the fifth industrial revolution.

Welcome to the Senate of the Philippines!

Thank you so much!

Isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!