GNU/Linux is a Hot Topic in Philippines

HB1011, Free Open Source (FOSS) Act of 2010 is in committee stage. It’s stated purpose is that “The government shall apply only FOSS or Foss solutions in all ICT projects except under exceptional cirumstances”. There is strong opposition, for example, from the Minister of Education who claims FLOSS costs more… Of course using “7” and databases costs less than using paper but they did not give GNU/Linux a fair shake in trials. M$ now uses the Minister of Education as a poster-child for non-free software: “We received feedback from the school IT administrators that the computers running had more technical issues, to the point that some computers were unusable….For us, the cost to deploy and support computers with and Linux is about 33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.” That sounds like EDGI got in there and paid people to use M$’s stuff. I don’t see any other way that FLOSS could be more expensive. Other surveys find productivity increases with use of FLOSS: “The 6-year costs for a full Microsoft Office migration would amount to a total of 9.8 M€, for the option to 4.2 M€ and for the Lotus SmartSuite option to 2.9 M€. Approximately 44 % of the migration costs of the option would be caused by training and support as well as conversion of documents and applications. “. The cost of labour being lower in Philippines compared to Finland, one has to wonder if the Minister can do maths.

Advertisements for GNU/Linux positions, mostly for servers, are plentiful. Ads for jobs with that other OS are less than twice as many as Linux, so the Minister must not be listening to all businesses when he states that business are happy with that other OS.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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24 Responses to GNU/Linux is a Hot Topic in Philippines

  1. Aris Royo says:

    It’s a long battle here in Philippines but we will never surrender, in fact FOSS is gaining momentum in Philippines.

    That’s why M$ is also using “Open” the problem is most User Group in Philippines already take the partnership of M$. “Let be aware of M$ hidden agenda”

    Just continue to educate and use free software.

  2. There has never been a need for dirty tricks or crimes but M$ has been doing those with enthusiasm for decades.

  3. ch says:

    “Too bad it needs frequent re-re-reboots”

    If you need to frequently re-re-reboot your XP/Vista/7 machine then you are doing something wrong. Oh, I forgot: You don’t use it so you rely on what some other Linux fanboy is telling you.

    “and falls down like a house of cards to malware”

    No, it’s not 1995 anymore – not even 2006. Vista and 7 brought a lot of enhancements regarding security.

    “all of the OS from M$ have been non-modular”


    “M$ loves to give malware an easy job so that it can use multiple APIs to give M$’s software an advantage on its platform compared to competitors’ software.”

    Apart from that not having anything to do with modularity, it’s not even true anymore. Please tell me which software from MS today would even need such an advantage against what competition ? MSO vs. LibreOffice ? VS vs. FreePascal ? Paint vs. Gimp ? No need for dirty tricks, anymore.

  4. oldman wrote that other OS is modular, too. Too bad it needs frequent re-re-reboots and falls down like a house of cards to malware. Those are not signs of modularity. Perhaps “7” has a different structure from XP but all of the OS from M$ have been non-modular. M$ loves to give malware an easy job so that it can use multiple APIs to give M$’s software an advantage on its platform compared to competitors’ software. That’s not modularity but spaghetti-code.

    see “Shatter Attack” and my comment on another post. M$ ties everything to everything, providing “better integration” which is an euphemism for lack of modularity.

  5. oldman says:

    “Modularity is a good thing.”

    Windows is modular as well Pog. I suggest a perusal of Technet before you opine on what you don’t know.

  6. When MacOS and that other OS switched to the BSD stack throughput increased 3-5 times compared to different Lose ’98 and MacOS9 systems that I compared to GNU/Linux. I have maxed out gigabit/s networks using GNU/Linux many times. It cannot get any better than that… I remember one time I was having problems with the driver for a gigabit/s NIC. It would only show up under heavy load so I transferred some .iso files via NFS while the system was in use. The logs filled with error messages but the users did not even notice. I changed some parameters for the driver and it was able to handle the full load with no problems afterward. Linux is wonderful that way. The networking is just one of the things that just keeps ticking when serious problems prevent perfection. Modularity is a good thing.

  7. konoame says:

    well, AFAIK BSD unixes work better for networking purposes

  8. xinne_raphael says:

    For correction…We dont have a minister of education here. Its a Secretary of Education. Its Department of Education not Ministry of Education…

    Such title was use during the Martial Law years…

  9. xinne_raphael says:

    Lack of Education about alternative OS is a problem…I tried suggesting that Linux to my supervisor…He just scoff the idea since he says our student will never use such OS since we are a MS-Centric country…no will hire you if you dont know windoze…according to him…

    Certification in my region is virtually none…Bicol region…in the NCR…there are some…but not here…My alma mater is scoffing such certification since it involves training personnel…they dont have such budget for such training…hell..even sending one of us in a seminar is blood sports…you will literally most defend it to the nail or tooth…hhehehehhe…

    Although, you will notice that some new generation of users are trying such OS…but once they enter the educational institution in my region…Linux and such are like research papers only here…only on paper…If congress enact such law encouraging usage of open-source appz…its only lip service…

  10. Contrarian says:

    “How about some real numbers?”

    The number of people using Google to search for Linux is more significant than the number of people using Linux? I bet that Microsoft would rather have the money than the fame! 🙂

    But you take what you can get.

  11. How about some real numbers?

    According to Google, who should know, linux was a more popular search term than Microsoft in Quezon region of the Philippines and in the whole of the country, M$ was only 50% more popular than linux. FLOSS is working its magic in the Philippines.

  12. Contrarian says:

    “What GNU/Linux lacks in bullies it makes up for in numbers. Philippines is a huge country in population and GNU/Linux is widely used.”

    Well, don’t look now, #pogson, but you seem to have missed the boat once more. The Phillipines seem to be a mirror of the USofA in regard to OS usage:

    Maybe Linux will be a hit in Timbuktu if they ever get going.

  13. Google finds some hits.

    Linux Professional Institute publishes its curriculum (a list of objectives) for $0 and there is training in Philippines at As well there is a huge quantity of information available on the web for $0 such as
    Many distros have similar resources on the web.

  14. There is a large filippino community in Winnipeg. Most are recent immigrants from Philippines and education seems to be highly valued. In my wife’s family all but a few attended university. People seem to be one of the largest exports.

    There is hope. Here is what was done on Software Freedom Day.

  15. Clyde Strom says:

    all the problems in the philippines stems from just 2 main reasons:

    1. corruption
    2. lack of education

    …which the former takes FULL advantage of the later.

    so none of you should be raising eyebrows as if this situation was such a surprise…

    a 3 year old kid could have the common sense that FLOSS is tons a lot a cheaper option than the microsoft counterpart…

    not to mention that Open Document Format is the international standard..and not microsoft’s formats..

  16. xinne_raphael says:

    Hmm..In the Philippines..piracy is rampant and being encourage…Some people are just lazy to learn new OS…why spend thousands of pesos when its cheaper to pirate…
    Besides the customers here expect the computer shoppes to support the pirated machines…no one here buys computer with alternative OS…
    Though some companies like Fundline, some Med companies issued Ubuntu/GNU Linux to there staff…but some staff didnt go through some training…
    I tried to implement Linux to an internet shop some but I was ordered to convert back to windoze…thats luck…my boss didnt like Linux..its too new to him…heheheheh
    Resistance is very much embedded in the public psyche…after all this is a very Microsoft-centric country…even the country’s websites are run by MS servers…rarely linux…in some state university maybe but they are very rare…
    Linux certification here is virtually none…no school offer such certification if there is…its too expensive…

  17. Arup says:

    I have tried to implement Linux in various departments across the Philippines, its a totally controlled and brainwashed country period. Never have I met with more resistance than this part be it from so called officials or general public.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian really there is a lot of documentation that Microsoft does take part in underhanded dealings.

    It is one of the competition problems. China found one of the sources of a large volume of so called pirated copies of MS products on street at one point. Microsoft China head office. Deeper investigation shows that the copies were being intentionally sold at lower price and made appear like pirated copies.

    So MS will do any underhanded trick to get ahead.

    Contrarian there is a reason why the Linux world is using public pressure. If they have too much cash to take head on take side on with media.

  19. What GNU/Linux lacks in bullies it makes up for in numbers. Philippines is a huge country in population and GNU/Linux is widely used. The minister of education’s statements will ring hollow there.

  20. Contrarian says:

    “Pushing the cause of Linux and FOSS through the legislative mill in a country plagued with corruption will require a strong lobby from the Linux camp”

    Well that puts a few nails in the Linux coffin! I think Microsoft is above board and professional, but if you believe that they are sneaky and underhanded, it is doubtful that the empty-handed Linux “camp” is going to be able to muster the necessaries in the face of some Redmond cash.

  21. Even if all that happens is a lot of talk, people will become educated about FLOSS. There are 55 members of the committee. If they decide to table/drop the legislation they have to be on the record with reasons. That is an open door for FLOSS because there are no good reasons not to make FLOSS the default. It would be foolish to make Cadillac the default car. It is foolish to make that other OS the default OS as well. It is foolish to allow M$ to indoctrinate children in schools with commercial advertising. The right thing to do is to use FLOSS wherever it works which is the majority of uses of PCs.

  22. Barista Uno says:

    Pushing the cause of Linux and FOSS through the legislative mill in a country plagued with corruption will require a strong lobby from the Linux camp. Even that may not be enough.

  23. There are rules. There is a procedure for forcing consideration.


    The history shows no action…

    There is a list of bills before the ICT committee. They seem to have five bills approved and five to go before reaching this on in numerical order so there is some hope…

  24. Contrarian says:

    Well, I don’t know what chance it has, #pogson. After all, it is nearing the end of 2011 and some bill that was introduced more than a year ago that is still in committee is not on much of a fast track. I’d say this one is a goner.

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