Local IT firms told: Adopt individual, not collective, takeback scheme

Precisely because they know what substance they put into their own products, local subsidiaries of IT companies were urged by an environmental group to assume the responsibility of getting their junk products individually and not rely on the government’s effort to gather them on a collective basis.

At the recent CyberPress Forum held at the Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati City, high-profile environmental organization Greenpeace said tech firms such as PC and mobile phone makers have the moral, if not legal, obligation to recover and recycle their electrical and electronic wastes.

Representatives of IT companies who took part in the conference did not make an issue with the proposal, with top executives of computer producers Lenovo and IBM saying they would suggest to their headquarters to implement an individual takeback scheme in the country.

For its part, Board of Investment director Domingo Bagaporo said the government recognizes the merits of the suggestion and will thus consider it as the trade department winds up its cellphone waste collection and recycling program. The pilot project, which has Glorietta, Greenhills, SM Megamall as collection points, will run up to December 31.

Beau Baconguis, toxic tech waste campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, said a “takeback” policy is one of the crucial criteria that the group uses in rating the environmental-friendliness of a technology company.

In the recent quarterly issue of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, game consoles came out as the least environment-friendly electronic gadgets because of its lack of takeback policy. The report, first launched in August 2006 and rates PC and mobile phone manufacturers on their environmental practices, was expanded to include gaming consoles and television sets.

Video game market leader Nintendo lands at the bottom of the ranking guide with a score of zero out of a possible 10 points, followed by TV manufacturer Philips (2.0), and Microsoft (2.7). The global games consoles sector is the fastest growing sector of the electronics industry and is dominated by only three companies, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.

The new edition of the quarterly guide also shows important changes at the top of the ranking. Sony Ericsson has now taken the top spot, followed by Samsung, and Sony. Nokia, which has held the top spot since June 2007, has slid down to number nine, and, along with Motorola has been given penalty points.

During the forum, it appeared that the Philippines does not have a definitive law or clear-cut policy governing e-waste and recycling of electronic products.

IT stalwart Gus Lagman commented that the country does not even have a junkyard where harmful components of technology products can be processed safely.

The head of Sun Microsystems Philippines, another tech vendor, noted that although the government has embarked on some initiatives in addressing e-waste, a lot more needs to be done in terms of keeping the pressure on electronic companies to observe proper waste disposal and recycling.

Sun, along with EMC Philippines, revealed that they have the studied these environmental issues early on and have implemented energy-saving features that can maximize power resources.


CyberPress sets benefit concert

The Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines (ITJAP), popularly known as “CyberPress,” comes to the aid of an ailing former member via a benefit concert on November 10 at the Merk’s Bar Bistro, Greenbelt 2, Makati City.

The concert, entitled “The Perfect Pair,” is a series of exciting shows that kicked off last October 27 and marks the comeback of vocalist Anna Fegi and musical director Toti Fuentes to the local concert scene. The series will culminate on November 22 via an exciting finale at the Captain’s Bar of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

CyberPress, an organization of journalists covering the local information technology (IT) beat, is co-sponsoring the November 10 schedule of “The Perfect Pair” together with Next Mobile, one of the telecommunication service providers in the country, in order to raise funds for the surgery and medication expenses of Betty Daguio-Jose, a former journalist herself and one of the founding members of CyberPress.

Betty was diagnosed with lupus nephritis, a debilitating kidney disease, and doctors have already ordered an immediate kidney transplant. This project of CyberPress also serves as a fitting recognition for Betty’s invaluable help in making IT journalism part of the mainstream media today.

Back in the country after a long hiatus, curly-haired Cebu-bred singing wonder Anna Fegi made the country proud when she was cast as Nala at the Hong Kong Disneyland presentation of “The Lion King,” where she wowed audiences with her wide vocal range. Toti Fuentes, on the other hand, is also making a comeback of sorts after staying in the US where he sought treatment for stomach cancer.

“The Perfect Pair” will also feature former beauty queen Rachel Anne Wolfe, who has already made the rounds of the local show business scene via the movies and television before. Rachel is back in the country and will showcase her musical prowess through her brand-new CD released under Manna Records and distributed locally by Sony BMG.

The three top-notch entertainers will certainly electrify the Merk’s Bar Bistro stage, featuring Anna and Toti’s undeniable musical chemistry, having collaborated on several projects in the past. Their collective genius shall be complemented by Rachel’s indubitable musical artistry, from R&B, jazz, and even dance music.

Their captivating performances thus serve as a perfect highlight to the show as they showcase their diverse musicality and world-class entertainment qualities.

CyberPress Issues Clarifications

The Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines Inc., also known as CyberPress, wishes to inform the public of the following:

— Mr. Jerry Liao, originally from Infochat television show but who now writes a column for Inquirer.net and Technews section of Manila Bulletin, has resigned from the press corps due to irreconcilable differences with most members of the organization. His resignation has been unanimously accepted by the Board of Directors and no investigation is being made as opposed to a claim posted in the Infochat blogsite. Furthermore, his resignation is not related to the resignation of Mr. Leo Magno, as again suggested in the blogsite.

— Mr. Magno, a founding member of CyberPress who’s now the executive editor of Inquirer.net, has also resigned from the organization for a different reason. His fellow workers at Inquirer.net, Mr. Joey Alarilla and Mr. Alex Villafania, have resigned as well from the organization for various reasons. Their resignations have been accepted by the Board.

CyberPress is currently spearheading efforts to raise funds for Ms. Betty Daguio-Jose, a founding member of the organization now suffering with a kidney ailment.

CyberPress to stage 2nd badminton tourney

Wanting to keep it as part of its yearly activities, CyberPress, also known as the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines Inc., is staging again this year a badminton tournament it started in 2006.

The “2nd CyberPress All-ICT Badminton Cup” will be held on June 16, 2007 at the 4th floor of Solid House Building, 1231 Chino Roces Ave (formerly Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati City. The event will start at 9 in the morning.

Just like last year, the contest aims to gather members of the local IT industry which the CyberPress has been covering for the last decade. The tournament is expected be carried on cable television by Destiny Cable.

Although there are no major prizes at stake, participants in the tournament will vie for pride and prestige in the men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. A participating team is entitled to field a total of six players composed of three females and three males.

A registration fee of P5000 will be charged per IT company. This already covers snacks, refreshment, and use of shuttlecocks. Participants are requested to bring their own badminton rackets and to use shirts bearing their company’s color.

Interested parties can still join the event by sending an email to melvsgc@gmail.com. or by calling or sending a text message to 09209609984.

CyberPress Forum on Gov’t IT Projects


Cyberpress Forum to discuss ICT projects in gov’t

How are ICT projects in vital government agencies affecting the delivery of basic services to the public? Is the country ready to embrace the promise of e-government?

These are some of the questions that a forum, organized by the CyberPress, will try to answer on April 24, 2007, 10:30 AM, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City.

The confab, which is being supported by Sun Microsystems Philippines, has “Computerization Programs in the Public Sector” as the theme.

Key executives from ICT companies doing computerization projects with the government, as well as public officials involved in policy formulation have been invited to serve as speakers and panelists in the forum.

They include representatives from the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Commission on Elections (Comelec), LTO contractor Stradcom, Research firm XMG Asia-Pacific, and CIO Forum, the national association of government CIOs.

The event is the first of the three forums being organized for this year by CyberPress, or the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (www.cyberpress.org.ph).

Statement of CyberPress

Cybergreetings and Happy Easter!

One company prominent in the now fast growing e-services sector recently sent our press corps, the Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines or Cyberpress, an invite that was written in a way that may be interpreted as a disguised bribe.

In the spirit of Christian charity, we would like to consider this invitation as one that had been done out of naivete, not malice. However, this matter is important in that it has made us review our own ethical standards.

We would like to publicly call attention to this matter and make known to all who consider themselves as part of the IT sector that any journalist’s acceptance of such an invitation will put said journalist in direct violation of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics. We invoke the conscience clause of said Code of Ethics with regard to this matter.

Reporters who respect themselves and hold fast to the ethics and ideals of the journalism profession receive payments for the stories they write only from their publishers, and their publishers alone.

Any other incentives or emoluments offered to journalists prior to the stories’ publication — most especially by their sources or by the institutions they write about — constitute an underhanded and unethical attempt to unduly influence or, worse, bald-facedly dictate, the contents of any articles these journalists will write.

Such moves are included in the list of actions that constitute “prior latches.” The premise of prior latches covers any actions by outside parties to unduly influence a journalist’s work through direct or indirect bribery and through the simple act of asking when and in what manner a journalist’s articles will by published and what such articles contain.

Media organizations have advertising sections that will happily accommodate such demands as cannot be made on the editorial sections to which journalists belong, so please be so advised.

We hope that this offer shall be the last of any attempts by any party to attempt to unduly influence the manner by which the members of the Cyberpress cover their beat and craft their stories.

We of the ITJAP have always prided ourselves with the fact that the beat we cover is the cutting edge of the 21st century in the Philippines.

Such coverage of the cutting edge also means being on the cutting edge of all efforts to uphold the best and the finest traditions of the Philippine press this Information Age. Unless we maintain our ethics and our integrity, our skill in reportage and our technological savvy will mean nothing.

Hence the Cyberpress’ collective rejection of any attempt to undermine its integrity as a press corps.

Never again should there be any attempts such as this. For any such attempt that follows shall hence be interpreted as done in malice.

Any future attempts similar to this will opposed collectively by Cyberpress and exposed in media — as well as transmitted to other press organizations that are of like mind as Cyberpress.

We want to serve our readers well by giving them news that serves the public interest, not just the interests of a chosen few and we thank you for cooperating in this effort by heeding our sentiments.

Below is the full text of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics as formulated by the Philippine Press Institute and the National Press Club of the Philippines for your reference and guidance.

Journalist’s Code of Ethics

1. I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts or to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to air the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly.

2. I shall not violate confidential information or material given me in the exercise of my calling.

3. I shall resort only to fair and honest methods in my effort to obtain news, photographs and/or documents, and shall properly identify myself as a representative of the press when obtaining any personal interview intended for publication.

4. I shall refrain from writing reports which will adversely affect a private reputation unless the public interest justifies it. At the same time, I shall fight vigorously for public access to information.

5. I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties; nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift or other consideration of a nature which may cast doubt on my professional integrity.

6. I shall not commit any act of plagiarism.

7. I shall not in any manner ridicule, cast aspersions on, or degrade any person by reason of sex, creed, religious belief, political conviction, cultural and ethnic origin.

8. I shall presume persons accused of crime of being innocent until proven otherwise. I shall exercise caution in publishing names of minors and women involved in criminal cases so that they may not unjustly lose their standing in society.

9. I shall not take unfair advantage of fellow journalists.

10. I shall accept only such tasks as are compatible with the integrity and dignity of my profession, invoking the ‘conscience clause’ when duties imposed on me conflict with the voice of my conscience.

11. I shall comport myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.