Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moving Up With Dept. of ICT

Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino has so far shown no interest in creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). He was a senator in the last Congress when the bill creating DICT failed to get the approval of the upper chamber of our legislative mill. If I remember it right, he was with the group of his Vice-Presidential running mate who are opposed to the creation of the line department in the executive branch of our government.

Lately, Taguig City Representative Freddie R. Tinga has reiterated the importance of passing a pending bill creating such agency. He said the creation of an executive department for information and communications technology (ICT) is needed by the country to capitalize on the gains of the industry.

He also said that the emergence of new technologies is rapidly changing the world’s economic landscape and we need to be ready for it. He added that ICT deserves to have a governing body of its own – an executive department that will set new directions on how the government can provide an enabling environment for the country’s fastest-growing industry.

So far, the committee report on the house bill creating the DICT has been approved in a joint hearing of the Committee on Government Reorganization headed by Zamboanga Representative Ceasar Jalosjos, and the Committee on ICT chaired by Tinga. The bill, if passed into law, would create an agency that would give focus on the development of IT and modern communication facilities. There is also a pending Senate Bill on the subject authored by Senator Edgardo Angara.

Under Philippines laws, an executive department can be created in three (3) ways: a) by Constitutional provision, b) by legislative enactment, and c) by authority of the law. The last method usually pertains to the authority vested in the President to create such agency through an executive order or presidential decree. However, a law passed by Congress is more favored since the department is backed by a statute and will have its own budget.

At present, the promotion, development, and regulation of ICT is under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), an agency created in 2004 by virtue of Executive Order No. 269 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a privilege speech during a regular House session, Tinga revealed that the country is way behind Asian nations and other developing countries in terms of ICT competitiveness, as shown in the Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011 of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Philippines ranked 86th in the survey, way behind its neighbors Singapore (2nd), Malaysia (28th), India (48rd), Thailand (59th), Vietnam (55th), and Indonesia (53rd). This ranking is notwithstanding the fact that the Philippines is the biggest market for business process outsourcing and backroom operations, next to India.

It’s not just improving our competitiveness ranking. We need to recognize that ICT is an important catalyst for economic growth and job creation, a pre-requisite to parity in education, a necessity for good governance, a channel for a free and empowered media, and means for poverty alleviation,” Tinga said.


  1. ICT is now a vital part in nation building which must be attended to ASAP. If Congress will not act on the DICT bill, we can push it via the Law on Initiative.

  2. i don't really think that Pres Noynoy is inclined to create this department or what ever department in the future. it is an added cost to the government and in his shallow mind it is just an unnessary expense.


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