Press Release
April 14, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that the Philippines has yet to fully capitalize on the benefits of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), beyond those that help prop up the fast-growing Philippine Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, emphasized that broadband technologies can also help initiatives in climate change adaptation, citing a recent study from the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

"The study points out that ICT can usher in a low-carbon future because these help dematerialize physical products and systems, such as in a so-called paperless society, for example," said Angara, also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE). "Of course, ICT are not carbon-neutral, but the efficiencies these drive aid in making industrial processes more green and environmentally sustainable."

The veteran lawmaker then noted a case study on low-carbon growth in India where smart grid technologies were seen to be a cornerstone in lessening electrical transmission and distribution losses, in turn leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The UNESCO- and ITU-sponsored study also outlined that ICT can directly improve disaster mitigation and resiliency through real-time weather information systems and citizen-centric alerting mechanisms.

Angara said that the report simply adds more to the list of far-reaching gains that can be attained if ICT in the country is developed further.

"Clearly, government will take a big leap in this direction if an agency dedicated to ICT is established," said the former UP president, who is also the main sponsor of a measure calling for the establishment of a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The DICT bill calls for the reorganization of some agencies under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and other communications-related government entities into a separate department that will formulate, promulgate and implement policies towards ICT development. The measure has been passed in both house of Congress, and will undergo bicameral review before it is transmitted to Malacanang for signing.

"Various stakeholders--such as the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines--have vocalized their support for the creation of a DICT, saying it will further enhance the attractiveness of our growing IT-BPO industry," stressed Angara. "But the benefits of ICT go beyond IT-BPO.

"Telemedicine, e-learning, more accurate weather monitoring, and even improved agricultural and industrial production become realities with advanced ICT. Ultimately, having a DICT helps boost our ability to maximize on this vast potential and direct it towards solving the numerous challenges we face as a country."

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