Last July 27-28, 2006, I attended a "Forum on eGovernance Capability Building" sponsored by the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), The Asia Foundation (TAF), and the British Embassy at the Astorias Plaza Hotel in Ortigas.
The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF) held the forum as it is their common support for the use of Information and Communication Technology to improve services and operations in the municipalities.
Aside from being a participant, I was also made to talk to introduce Joomla! for the easy creation of dynamic content rich websites.
The forum was also a way for the organizers to organize IT officers in municipalities in the country in one organization under the auspices of the LMP. It is tentatively known as the LMP Association of eGovernance Advocates. The organization was established to promote eGovernance among LGUs and to its constituents and pursue the formulation of a national policy that will ensure the success of local ICT projects.
And to my surprise, I was elected as National President (unoppose and to think that it was my first time to meet the other participants). Personally, I was at the most gunning for the PRO position but I guess they must saw something in me that I wasn't able to.
For starters, we talked about convening all national government agencies concerned and ask them to push for the standarization and interoperability of their info systems (READ: open source), encourage mayors to fully support ICT, push for a enabling law that will allow the creation of permanent ICT positions even if the LGU's allocation for salaries is already over the prescribed limit, and among other concerns.
I am now doing a website for the organization using Drupal (my first try), and has already created a mailing list for the organization at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LMPeGov.
I was also able to distribute Ubuntu and Kubuntu installer CDs during the event and was able to discuss about our LGU's experience on using Linux on the desktop with my peers. Some of them in fact have signified their intent to ask me for assistance for possible Linux desktop migration.
Personally, I hope I could encourage more LGUs to adopt free open source softwares in their respective LGUs thru the organization. Other than that, I hope I could keep up with the challenge of being the President of the organization. I am excited, obviously.
I have high hopes yet I don't want to push it too much. I don't wanna give my fellow ICT officers too much undue pressure yet I don't wanna waste the momentum and their enthusiasm.
I'll go with the saying "THINK BIG, START SMALL" and so God help me.