The Philippine government acknowledges the country’s high-growth potential in the information and communications technology (ICT) and e-commerce fields. For this reason, the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council (ITECC) was created to use all the necessary and available resources of the public and private sectors. Thus, ePhilippines was coined and defined as an electronically-enabled society where the citizens live in an environment that will encourage and promote the access to technologies providing quality education, efficient government service, greater sources of livelihood, and ultimately, a better way of life.
Gilas is a Filipino word that connotes savvy. The Ayala Foundation spearheaded the Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) movement to address the Philippines’ poverty of information and digital divide. It aims to wire up the country’s 5,433 public high schools to the Internet by 2010. For schools that do not have working computer laboratories, GILAS will provide the laboratories with at least 10 PC units, unlimited internet access for one year and the basic training necessary for teachers so they can teach computer literacy skills to students. For schools with working computer laboratories, GILAS will provide the internet connectivity package and the basic teacher internet training.