The Internet's 10 Most Influential Filipinos
Leandro Verceles Jr.
Congressman Jun Verceles is
one of the younger members of the Philippine House of Representatives. He first won a Congressional seat
in 1992, when he was 35 years old, and is now on his second term in the lone district of Catanduanes.
Verceles, known as the resident "geek" in Congress, has earned a reputation as the leading advocate of
technological advancement. "I would like to adopt cutting-edge technology to accelerate the development
process. To leapfrog into the global tomorrow, we've got to have that cutting-edge technology and stay a
step ahead of the rest," he explains on his homepage.
Why he's influential.
He launched in December 1996 the Catanduanes Internet
Network (CATNET), the testbed of the RP Government Information Sharing Technology Network or
GISTNET. That same year, he proposed to establish a government intranet using the Internet to
electronically network the entire Philippine government. Dubbed RPWEB, the Verceles strategy calls for
the link-up through local Internet exchanges or network access points of more than 12,000 government
offices, local government units and schools nationwide. House Resolution No. 890 was approved by
former President Ramos as Administrative Order No. 332. Adoption by government offices is still slow,
and Verceles in an interview with Computerworld acknowledged that there's "an opportunity for
Visions for the Net.
"The idea here is to let information technology empower the
people. By informing the event of humanity occuring outside their immediate communities, we enable
them to become discerning, critical and responsible citizens. This heightened awareness will spur them into
action and ultimately allow them to take control of their own destiny," says Verceles.