Press Release
November 3, 2008


Recognizing the great potential of information and communications technology (ICT) to create wealth for the country, Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need to form a permanent entity that would promote its utilization and to effectively coordinate and implement national and local ICT services.

"National competitiveness may be measured in different ways, one of which is a country's ability to generate knowledge, technology and services, and employ these in addressing specific needs. Information and communications technology (ICT) has helped improve almost every aspect of life and continues to grow and permeate all our activities. It has changed the way we live, work, learn and socialize," said Angara, who chairs Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

He added, "More than that, ICT is also a tool to boost a country's overall competitiveness by improving the efficiency of production processes across sectors and industries, accelerating the growth of knowledge-based services, and empowering people to access unprecedented sources of information and markets."

Governments around the world are crafting policies and creating institutions for ICT growth, using various developmental approaches. Germany has an inter-ministerial agency handling Information Technology (IT) policies, while France and Portugal have established one central coordinating body, directly answerable to the chief executive.

Countries like China, India, Korea, Singapore, and Thailand have already set up ministries or departments to focus solely on ICT.

Meanwhile, Angara also observed that the country lacks a coherent, long-term policy for ICT development, as well as an agency that will implement the strategy. With this, he sought to create a Department of ICT (DICT).

Under the proposed bill, DICT will assume the communications-related powers and functions of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and will absorb the following agencies: Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) currently under the Office of the President, the National Computer Center (NCC) under the DOTC, the Telecommunications Office of the DOTC, and the Communications Planning Service division of the DOTC.

It will be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government for ICT development.

"Through the establishment of DICT, we hope to further promote ICT in the country as a tool to create jobs, improve government services, and empower Filipinos. During this particularly difficult period, we need every advantage that we can get. ICT is one way for us to have that advantage. The data and information, if we are able to utilize it properly, will allow us to make faster and better decisions, and react to crisis better, whether it be financial, or health related, or weather and crop forecasting. The possibilities of a unified ICT system in the country, led by the DICT, are endless," said Angara.

As of press time, the DICT bill has been certified as urgent by Malacanang.

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