Press Release
July 5, 2011


The National Information and Communications Technology Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) has urged President Benigno Aquino III to recall the executive order downgrading the Commission on Information Communications Technology (CICT), echoing Senator Edgardo J. Angara's appeal.

The NICT attested to the vital role played by the CICT in the growth of the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, saying that the CICT was a catalyst and enabler in emerging IT-BPO centers outside Metro Manila.

Angara expressed grave reservations on how the Philippine government is flip-flopping on its commitment to promote ICT industries.

"We are already the BPO capital of the world in terms of voice-based services. But instead of forging ahead by further empowering the CICT, we are pulling the rug from under it," he said.

President Aquino has signed Executive Order (EO) 47 which reorganizes the CICT but effectively demotes its position in the bureaucracy. The CICT, currently an agency directly attached to the Office of the President, will be renamed the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and placed under the supervision of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The CICT has been the subject of several reorganizations since its creation in 2004 through EO 269.

The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2010-2011 study on "Trends in Telecommunications Reform" shows that more than 80 percent of markets around the world have separate ICT regulatory agencies.

In fact, the Philippines belongs to a minority in Southeast Asia that remain without a line department devoted to ICT.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), has been pushing for the creation of the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT). During the Fourteenth Congress, the said bill was passed in the House of Representatives and was nearly passed on Third Reading in the Senate.

Angara has refiled the measure at the start of the Fifteenth Congress, and will continue to push for its passage going into the Second Regular Session.

The DICT is envisioned to be the governing body for the ICT sector. It will serve as a one-stop shop for investors, and will be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative body on strategic ICT development.

"We have to move quickly and provide a strategic direction and stability for ICT in the country if we want to sustain our momentum and avoid sending wrong signals to investors," Angara stressed.

The BPO industry currently contributes 5 percent to the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP), and is expected to rake in revenues of at least USD$50 billion, or 11% of GDP, by 2020.

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