Sunday, October 30, 2011

House Version Of DICT Law Approved On Second Reading

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 4667 or the proposed “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2011″ on its second reading. The bill that seeks to create the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was endorsed for plenary approval by the House Committees on Government Reorganization chaired by Rep. Cesar Jalosjos (3rd District, Zamboanga del Norte), on Information and Communications Technology chaired by Rep. Sigfrido Tinga (2nd District, Taguig City), and on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya (1st District, Cavite).

The measure cites the policy of the State to promote the utilization of ICT as a vital tool for nation-building and economic growth that is government-enabled, private sector-led, citizen-centric, and market based. The proposed Department of ICT will be headed by a secretary to be appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. The President shall also appoint four undersecretaries and four assistant secretaries. The DICT’s powers and functions shall include the following among others:
  • Formulate, recommend, and implement national policies and guidelines in the ICT sector that will promote wider use and development of ICT, and its applications, such as e-commerce, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry;
  • Represent and negotiate for Philippine interests on matters pertaining to ICT in international bodies;
  • Design, implement, and ensure the protection of an integrated government information and communications infrastructure development program, and Administer and enforce all laws, standards, rules and regulations governing ICT.
The bill also provides for the creation of a Council of Chief of Information Officers composed of 11 members with fixed terms in office with the secretary of the DICT as chairperson. The council will serve as coordinating body to assist the secretary in establishing policies, standards, rules and guidelines for the provision and other ICT e-governance initiatives.

There shall be an e-government fund to be appropriated annually under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), to be administered by the DICT, specifically to fund cross-agency government ICT projects which shall be used to support and co-finance projects that enable the government to expand its ability to conduct activities electronically and provide frontline services through the development and implementation of innovative uses of the internet or other emerging technologies. The fund shall not be used to cover personal services expenditures.

On the transfer of agencies and personnel, the bill provides that the following agencies shall hereby be abolished, and their powers and functions, applicable funds and appropriations, records, equipment, property, and personnel transferred to the DICT:
  • Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO)
  • National Computer Center (NCC); and
  • Telecommunications Office (TELOF).
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) shall hereby be attached to the DICT for policy and program coordination, and shall continue to operate and function in accordance with the charters, laws or orders creating them, insofar as they are not inconsistent with the proposed law. The DICT cannot exercise any power which will have the effect of modifying the exercise by the NTC of its quasi-judicial function.

Employees of the DICT shall be covered by Republic Act No. 8439, which provides for a magna carta for scientists, engineers, researchers and other science and technology personnel in the government. Incumbents whose positions are not included in the new position structure and staffing pattern of the DICT, or who are not re-appointed shall be deemed separated from the service, whether permanent, temporary, contractual or casual employees, and shall, within 90 days there from, receive the retirement benefits to which they may entitled to under existing laws, rules and regulations.

1 comment:

  1. This is a welcome development as it signals the determination of the government to promote ICT. The Philippines is the only country that has no ICT Department. In the Philippines, ICT has developed immensely , specifically in the classrooms. Indeed, it it become part of our culture and vital to our everyday lives.

    Felix C. Maminta
    Executive Director
    Iligan ICT Council


Read This Before Leaving a Comment

1. Use your real or username, not keywords
2. No signature links in your comments
3. No foul language (please)

Comments not adhering to these rules will be deleted