I'm saddened of the reports of SMB's being raided on the daily basis and I'm quite worried about the impact this dilemma could cause to our economy. We are already the worlds' laughing-stock because of our political folly, furthermore, what would they say if our economy fails because of the lack of support for the Small and Medium Businesses which our country is in dire need of to boost itself in the open ocean of world politics.
DO WE HAVE TO SUFFER MORE because most of our SMB's couldn't afford the software needed for their day-to-day transactions? Are there any more alternative solution aside from pushing them to purchase costly licenses? If not, let us advocate the use of Linux and Open Source Systems as an alternative to acquiring licenses for Closed-Source Systems (Commercial Programs , i.e. Microsoft and Auto Desk Products) which is quite expensive for most SMB's in the Philippines.
Considering the Total Costs of Ownership, a business entity can benefit from the low-cost of acquiring a license in using OSS as opposed from using a legitimate Microsoft-based and endorsed software. Let's consider this cost of ownership of a legit Windows System: License of Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2, USD 199.99 (PhP 9799.51), Microsoft Office Office Standard Edition 2003, USD 364.95 (PhP 18,068.67) AutoCad 2007, USD 4800.00 (PhP 237,600.00), sans the other programs. If we total them, it could cost a small engineering firm USD 5,361.91 (PhP 265,468.18) for a computer, and I doubt it only needs just one computer to do its job.
The reason why erring firms tend to use pirated software stems from the reason that a legitimate commercial system is the hefty price that they have to pay and for them, the only way to circumvent the high costs is to use pirated software which sells from PhP 100 a CD. It is legally binding that the Philippine Anti-Piracy Team, along with the Optical Media Board, CIDG, and the NBI to file cases against them. but would it be holistic? I think not, the daily raids will just further cripple our delicate economy as we also need SMB's to boost our GDP and right now, enforcing the legitimization of licensed programs won't just do any good as it would add more overhead costs to these poor establishments, thus impending their quick-demise
I'm in no way against Closed Source Systems as I also prefer using them, however I strongly advocate the alternative use of Free/Open Source Systems for SMB's to help negate the rise of piracy cases in the country.