Number of internet cafes in Davao City shrinking

Nov. 06, 2008

Davao City-The market of internet cafes is slowly shrinking with the increasing number of cafes operating in Davao City.

Yvonne Cabada, president of the Internet Caf Association of Davao during the Kapehan sa Dabaw held on Monday at the Caf Rysus of SM City Davao said there are about 400 plus cafes already operating in the city.

However, she said only about 70 are accredit internet cafes saying that these accredited ones follow regulations and observe the ordinance covering operation of internet cafes.

She said small operations are mushrooming and even operates in subdivisions that is why it is difficult to monitor.

The city government, as part of the ordinance governing operations of internet cafes, conducts regular monitoring of these cafes in cooperation with the Internet Caf Association Board (ICAB) and the Business Bureau of which ICAD is a member.

She said most of the small cafes are those of the OFWs because they find it a practical business because they could easily communicate with their families.

However, when they are already into it, problem arises because they need to deal with licensing as well as the technical aspect of operating the business.

Meanwhile, she said some internet caf here are not operating as internet cafes but a gaming centers. The Internet Caf Ordinance (City Ordinance No. 0227-04) prohibits operating an internet caf without business permit or license but the ordinance also allows students to surf or source data/information other than those needed for study or educational purposes during prescribed class hours.

She said students are not allowed to play games during class hours but because internet cafes are public places the students mostly do gaming after class hours.

She said a lot of parents share problems of their kids addicted to gaming even as councilor Danilo Dayanghirang in the same forum said he will propose for the banning of Grade 1 to 6 students to cafes.

Cabada said that with strict monitoring, the Business Bureau already had suspended some cafes and the job of running after violators is ongoing.

On the other hand, Cadaba said they will be conducting an Internet Caf Summit on November 14, 2008 at the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Davao City, this time to deal on the “Effect of Internet on Children and Women”, the “Effect of Internet on Education”, and the “Effect of Internet on Business”. (PIA)

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