Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let's Help Save And Restore CICT

One (1) day after the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) unveiled its ICT Roadmap – the Philippine Digital Strategy for 2011-2016, the local ICT sector was stunned last week when it was publicized that Pres. Noynoy Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) No. 47 on June 23 renaming the CICT as Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and transferring it under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The ICTO will be headed by an executive director, equivalent to the position of undersecretary, in contrast with CICT which had a chairman who held Cabinet rank and reports directly  to the President.

In a press release, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, the top ICT advocate in the Senate, criticized the issuance of EO No. 47 demoting the CICT while the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) have filed a petition calling for the repeal of the EO and for the restoration of the CICT. They warned that demoting the agency could imperil the gains made by the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry.

The IT-BPO industry raised US$9 billion in revenues last year with 530,000 people under its employment. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) predicts that total employment will increase to 1.3 million and revenues to US$26 billion by 2016. Both the BPAP and the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFCC) are long-time advocates of the DICT.

“ICT is a sunshine industry with enormous potential for investment and job generation. It deserves no less than a cabinet portfolio. This is an ironic move that sends the wrong signal to the industry about how much – or little – we prioritize ICT,” stressed Angara.

Created under EO No. 269 issued by then Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004, the CICT was tasked as the “primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating, and administrative entity of the executive branch of Government that will promote, develop, and regulate integrated and strategic ICT systems and reliable and cost-efficient communication facilities and services.”

The agency, in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with I-Cafe Pilipinas, recognized the role of computer shops in providing the public with affordable access to the Internet. I-Cafe Pilipinas as the national advocacy body of the internet cafe (i-cafe) industry is working on a project with CICT that would convert qualified i-cafes into government-sponsored community e-centers (CeC). The demotion of CICT to ICTO may affect the current status of i-cafes in the eyes of national agencies so I-Cafe Pilipinas is calling on the stakeholders of the i-cafe industry to join hands and in the movement to restore and save CICT. Click the image on this article or the link above and sign the appeal.

1 comment:

  1. It's apparent that P-Noy is clueless of the tremendous benefits and limitless potential of ICT in our country. The adherents of ICT must give strong support to Sen. Angara's bill by organizing advocacy groups and enlisting millions of supporters all over the country. It's a tough job but we must start somewhere to achieve our objective.


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