‘Linux invasion’ Reaches Southern Growth Corridor
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (March 15) – The long-overdue “linux invasion” there and in nearby growth areas of South Cotabato and Sarangani has finally unfolded with the launching of the area’s pioneering advocacy group for the mainstreaming of the free and open source software (FOSS).
“Our primary goal is simple: mainstream FOSS,” said Alfredo Bronx Hebrona Jr.,
the organizing chairperson of SOSN.
A group of professionals from the academe, business and the media sectors formally organized last February 27 the Socsargen Open Source Network (SOSN) in a bid to further expand awareness and the use of FOSS by the
mainstream sectors of community.
“Our primary goal is simple: mainstream FOSS,” said Alfredo Bronx Hebrona Jr., the organizing chairperson of SOSN.
Socsargen refers to the South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos City growth area in Southwestern Mindanao that has been identified by the government as an alternate information and communication technology (ICT) hub in Mindanao.
The growth area is also a vital component of the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) sub-regional economic cooperation.
Among the initial members of the SOSN are the Socsargen Financial Intelligence Network (SFIN), which represents the group’s secretariat, and the Sarangani Bay Times Publishing Inc. (SBTPI).
Mr. Hebrona, a former journalist, is a consultant of the Sagittarius Mines Inc. and is the current president of the Sarangani Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a member of the Regional Development Council of Region 12.
He is a former sub-editor of Manila-based business daily BusinessWorld and the founding president of the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines.
The other lead organizers of the group are: Rommel Rebollido (vice chairperson), news bureau chief of the Philippines News Agency and national board member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines; Allen Estabillo (secretary/treasurer) of the Philippines News Agency and the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Centre (MindaNews); and, Latreia Estabillo (executive director), a computer education teacher of the Koronadal National Comprehensive
Ms. Estabillo, who was among the participants in the Asia Source II held in Sukabumi, Indonesia last January, personally pushed for the creation of the SOSN.
SOSN held its first orientation on FOSS last March 9 in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. The event was participated in by at least 28 public school teachers.
The network is slated to launch more FOSS orientation and seminars in the coming months focusing on the four core modules introduced during the Asia Source II.
The initial target participants are computer education teachers and students of several public secondary schools in the area that were provided with Linux-based computer laboratories last year by the PCs for Public Schools-Phase 3 (PCPS3) project of the Department of Trade and Industry and the government of Japan.
Among SOSN’s long-term plans are to establish a Linux training facility in the area and consolidate various FOSS applications and tools that may be useful for practicing journalists.(SOSN News Release/March 15, 2007)