Senate OKs bill creating ICT department
The Senate has approved on third and final reading a measure creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which is aimed at promoting digital literacy and competitiveness across the country.
In a statement on Monday, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Senate Bill No. 2686 would help the Philippines adjust to major technological breakthroughs happening within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as part of its market integration.
“The measure addresses the need for the Philippines to be at par with other Asean economies which have Cabinet level departments for their information and communications technology (ICT) sector, especially with our flourishing business process outsourcing industry and digitally-savvy populace,” Drilon said.
According to Sen. Ralph Recto, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Senate committee on science and technology, the DICT would be the “primary department in charge of developing, planning, and promoting the government’s ICT agenda.”
Recto said the creation of DICT would also pave the way for easier government transactions, including transfer of records and requests for documents under an integrated database, “so that knowledge is transferred, resources are shared, databases are built and agency networks are linked together.”
“Permits, licenses, land titles should now be electronically applied for, processed and issued,” he said.
Recto added the DICT was also eyeing to expand the country’s technology sector by attracting more investment opportunities for ICT firms through establishing international linkages to “speed up industry growth and competitiveness.”
“The DICT is also mandated to beef up consumer protection policies to protect consumers against lousy service, and at the same time ensure business users’ right to privacy,” Recto added.
The bill would also tap the proposed DICT to coordinate with the National Telecommunications Commission, the National Privacy Commission and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center for the implementation of the country’s policies on cybersecurity.
The Recto-sponsored bill is a consolidated version of separate bills filed Senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, JV Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes and Cynthia Villar. RC
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