PNoy Message on Youtube Philippines Launch (read by Sec. Ricky Carandang)


Message
of
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
During the launch of YouTube Philippines
YouTube Philippines
[As read by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon A. Carandang at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on October 13, 2011]
Mr. Julian Persaud, Managing Director for South East Asia, Google; Mr. Adam Smith, Director for Product Management at YouTube; Mr. Lito Nadal of RTVM; and other people from Google; friends; ladies and gentlemen:
Good morning.
First of all, let me convey my apologies that the President was not able to attend today. He had previously confirmed that he was actually very excited to attend but, as sometimes happens, last minute things come up then there were scheduling changes yesterday and so you are stuck with me. [Laughter]
Anyway, regardless, it is a pleasure for me to be here on behalf of the President to share his message with you on this occasion.
As consumers, Filipinos have always taken to technology like fish to water. To this day, Filipinos remain among the most active texters in the world, to the point of creating different and sometimes amusing text sub-languages. I once got a text from somebody that said, “w-r-u.” And I’m like: “What does this mean?” Today, I think most people would understand that means where are you.
The Filipino online community has had a very visible presence on many of the most well known avenues on the internet: how many of us has not had an account with Friendster, in its time—I bet some of you still do— and today, of course, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube?
Given the enthusiasm with which we Filipinos have taken to technology and the Internet, it’s not surprising that we rank as one of the highest number of YouTube users in the Asia Pacific region. As a people, we have learned to make the most of the voice YouTube has given the ordinary citizen: from sharing topics from the lighter side of life, such as a video of more than a thousand inmates from Cebu dancing to “Thriller,” to those that stir our social awareness, such as the different eyewitness videos that went viral in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy. That so many people have viewed these videos only affirm that the Filipino people have a strong voice on YouTube, and that the millions of others out there are willing to listen.  
I’m so happy to be here with you today, as we launch a localized version of YouTube—the first of its kind in South East Asia—tailor-made for the Philippines. YouTube Philippines aggregates Philippine-based content on YouTube—in effect customizing the YouTube experience for Filipinos. Category browse pages and featured videos will make it much easier to access content from and for Filipinos and for that matter, anyone in the world who is interested in the Philippines.
This is another affirmation the Filipino people have a strong presence in the cyber universe, and this innovation will allow us to more effectively share the things that matter to us with the rest of the world, from funny and touching moments in our lives, to eyewitness reports and testimonies of important events, to political and social matters.
I am happy to announce that the government of President Aquino is also harnessing this form of social media in order to engage our countrymen more actively. Today, we are also launching two premium YouTube Channels: the RTVM and the Official Gazette, which will make our government more accessible to the Filipino people by providing them with an online library of audio and video coverage of government activitiesamong other things.
There’s an estimated 90 million Filipinos living in our country and another 10 million scattered all over the world. As much as the President would like to personally reach out to them all, this simply is not physically possible. But through social media, most particularly the new RTVM and Official Gazette channels, Filipinos around the world can see and hear their government in action, and just as importantly, they can have another channel to make their voices heard.
The RTVM channel, for instance, will become a free and accessible means through which the Filipino people, or anyone interested in the Philippines, can watch the President’s public appearances. The Filipino living in Tokyo, who was not able to attend the President’s gathering with the Filipino community on his last visit, will soon be able to watch that event on the RTVM channel. What’s even better is that unlike before when videos are usually uploaded and viewed in parts, one entire video can now be accessed, because the premium YouTube channel platform sets no time limit for those uploaded videos. The RTVM channel will also feature videos of speeches, media interviews, and other events from its historical archives, which date back from 1987. When it’s all up and running, I’m sure we’ll all be excited to see it and it will be a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in our recent history.
The Official Gazette Channel, meanwhile, on the other hand, which is the “baby” of Undersecretary Quezon, will serve as the main portal for the video content of the Philippine government, such as infomercials and public service announcements from the Office of the President, as well as those of Cabinet members and their attached agencies.
These two channels will allow us to more effectively communicate what the Philippine government is doing, while we are doing it. Open and transparent governance has always been one of our priorities, and we have been actively exploring the ways through which social media can deepen democracy and make it more meaningful in our everyday lives. And so, knowing that it can be difficult for the ordinary Filipino to view his government as accessible and transparent, we are taking the first step in coming to you.
It’s my hope that this localized version of YouTube and that these two government channels will become instrumental in spurring the Filipino people to become more involved in governance, starting with familiarizing themselves with the issues.
In a time in which it has never been easier to reach millions, even billions of people in a few minutes, the Filipino people can indeed be a powerful force. Armed only with your cellphones, you have the ability to report problems, from relatively minor matters such as pothole-ridden roads in your district to bigger ones like the abuse of authority and corruption. You have the ability to tell the rest of the world your being part of the solution, whether by capturing your fellow Filipinos working together in relief efforts for typhoon victims, or by posting videos that show the inherent talents of the Filipino people when it comes to problem-solving. And, ultimately, you have the ability to become involved in shaping the history and culture of our country, in partnering with your government toward achieving lasting and inclusive progress here in our country.
And so, with this launch of a version of YouTube customized for the Filipino people, I invite you all to log in to the Internet, explore this domain. Whether in real life or in the virtual world, we must never forget we are part of a community. Let us use this resource not just to entertain ourselves but also to turn YouTube into the greatest classroom the planet has ever seen: where we can debate, discuss, analyze, and share both our problems and also the solutions to these problems.
Now, In connection with this, I’d also like to announce that President Aquino has agreed to take part in the Google-YouTube WorldView interview series, which has seen different world leaders and luminaries answering selected questions from people all over the world, during live interviews aired on YouTube. President Barack Obama of the U.S., Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain are some of the leaders who have participated in these interviews. Our president will be joining their ranks when he is interviewed on November 4th of this year—the first Asian Head of State to do so.
So, I’d like to invite you all to participate in this unique event. You can do so by submitting your questions via www.youtube.com/worldview and by voting for the questions that you want answered beginning October 21st, or more simply you can watch the President’s interview as it airs on November 4 and take a quieter, although no less important role in the discussion by keeping yourself informed of the issues that will be addressed.
The power you have in your hand—the power of a single click, to choose the video you want to watch, to express your like or dislike for a video, and to type your comments on what you see—can change the world. We’ve seen that already this year in many parts of the world like in North Africa and the Middle East. So we do have all that power. Let’s make sure that we use it to make your country and our world, a better place.
Thank you, and good day.