Apparently, The Philippines Does Not Exist

As reported on the so-called—or better yet, the self-proclaimedbest daily newspaper on the world wide web, Kenya have set a world first with mobile money transfers. As far as I know, mobile remittance and money transfers are old technology here in the Philippines[1] even if I still haven’t been able to use the system.

As ignorant as they may be, Guardian Unlimited’s Xan Rice and Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph expressed with enthusiasm their belief that the mobile money transfer concept is the next big thing in mobile telephony.[2] They haven’t acknowledged the fact that this concept was originally from the Philippines with millions of workers abroad using the services of local Philippine mobile providers. I could safely say that this kind of service is an old big thing for Filipinos. I guess they think they would attract more people into believing in their services as a breakthrough this way—making its worldwide market adoption much quicker—than telling the concept came from a poor and less known country.

The report said that this new technology is being piloted by Vodaphone with the implementation on its partially owned corporation in Kenya—claiming to be the first country in the world to use this service. As the story shows, this M-PESA service from Safaricom is still being developed by Vodaphone, but it happens to be that Globe G-Cash™ and Smart Padala was already out of beta testing several years ago.[1]

I guess no one could deny the fact that Filipinos are not technologically lagging. We are leading with highest numbers on SMS usage, and I believe we are leading with the most services using it. So I guess we deserve some credit[3] as well, for this is so evident it would not pass even a little bit as an Agapito Flores claim to technological advances.

I guess I only have one explanation left that many other Filipinos would hately agree with: The Philippines does not exist.

Footnotes:

6 Replies to “Apparently, The Philippines Does Not Exist”

  1. Your right aja, the philippines’ mobile networks have been offering mobile money transfers since time immortal.. and there’s no way that kenya could have been the first to offer that kind of service. to think we are the world’s texting capital. and mobile services here and improving my the minute as new and modern services are being offered by networks every month

  2. Does International Copyright Law govern this? I think it would have been better if either one of the Philippine Telecommunications giants (I think Smart was the first to implement this) applied for patent for this kind of service.

  3. I really do not know, Jam. How I wish I better knew what every legal, license, and copyright statement means.

  4. Seems The Guardian has read your blog post about this. They have corrected their story afterwards:

    The following correction appeared in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday March 31 2007

    The claim in the article below was wrong. The mobile banking system may be the first in Africa but two companies, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, have been operating money transfers in the Philippines since around 2005.

    The Philippines was never behind the West technologywise, not as far as I can remember. And my work experience, which I learned and have practiced in the Philippines before moving West, is a personal experience that can relate to this fact.

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