Press Release
March 23, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored anew the crucial role of the proposed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in promoting the development of the Philippine ICT sector, ultimately spurring economic development throughout the country.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the statement as noted economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas spoke at the recent Asia CEO Forum, where he claimed that the country's telecommunications sector will be one of the key infrastructure industries that can help the country achieve 7-10 percent growth in the next 10 years.

"ICT is only getting more embedded into our everyday lives. This only enhances the multiplier effects of developing its sector and all other industries that are enabled by it," said the veteran lawmaker, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE). "I am convinced that a DICT will be essential in ensuring that the benefits of ICT become all the more far-reaching and transformative."

Angara authored and sponsored SBN 50, otherwise known as the DICT bill, which reorganizes the communications-related agencies of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) into the DICT.

Having been approved in both the Senate and the House, the measure will still have to undergo bicameral conference before it is transmitted to Malacañang and signed into law.

Many stakeholders, such as the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FCCCII), have expressed support for the establishment of the ICT agency.

"Clearly, segments that explicitly deal with ICT such as the IT-BPO [Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing] industry will benefit from a DICT," explained Angara. "But the benefits of the vibrant use of ICT extend well beyond these sectors and can boost other areas like agriculture, public health, education and disaster management and risk reduction."

"[Microsoft founder] Bill Gates recently made the call for a digital revolution against hunger, where remote sensing technologies are used to gather crop information useful to farmers.

"At the same time, advances in ICT have already made telemedicine possible, where doctors are able to diagnose and even operate on patients that are oceans away.

"Likewise, E-learning is fast becoming an alternative way to gain top-notch education from anywhere in the world.

"Countries like Japan are using the proliferation of cellphones and smartphones as the foundation for early-warning systems against natural disasters."

Angara concluded, "Some of these things are already being rolled-out in our country. But the establishment of the DICT improves the chances for these developments to take root, blossom and flourish in our country."

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