Press Release
January 2, 2010

Centralized info system, improving government services, and empowering Filipinos

As the world recovers from the global financial crisis, Senator Edgardo J. Angara is optimistic that the information and communications technology (ICT) will realize its great potential to ensure universal access and high-speed connectivity to vital information, but added that it requires investment in infrastructure from both the public and private sector.

To facilitate the growth of the ICT sector, Angara underscored the need to form a permanent entity that would promote ICT utilization and to effectively coordinate and implement national and local ICT services.

"ICT is 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," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

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.

Angara said that the country lacks a coherent, long-term policy for ICT development, as well as an agency that will implement the strategy.

"ICT has proven to be a significant catalyst for national development, without which coordination between government offices and partnerships with concerned agencies will be very difficult. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which we are pushing for in the Senate, shall coordinate with various public and private agencies to facilitate different government initiatives such as the e-government objectives in particular and national objectives in general," said Angara.

The E-Government Fund which shall be created for the Department will serve as a special fund for cross-agency and government-initiated ICT projects. The fund will be used to support and co-finance projects that enable the government to expand its ability to conduct activities electronically and provide frontline services through the development and implementation of innovative uses of the Internet or other emerging technologies.

DICT 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.

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