MANILA, Philippines. On Monday, May 23, President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act no. 10844, a law that will create Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The said law will also rename the current Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to Department of Transportation.
Among the goals of the new department are “to ensure universal access to quality, affordable, reliable, and secure ICT services” as well as “to ensure the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient, and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.”
According to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., several agencies including Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), National Computer Center (NCC), National Computer Institute (NCI), Telecommunications Office (TELOF), National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI) and all operating units of the DOTC that deal with communications will be abolished and put under the DICT.
Coloma added that the DICT will be led by a Secretary and assisted by three Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries. Two of the three undersecretaries and two of the four assistant secretaries should be career officers while one of the four assistant secretaries should also be a licensed professional electronics engineer.
To help implement plans and programs, regional offices will be created. There is also an option to create “sectoral and industry task forces.”
DICT’s functions and powers include improved public access; policy and planning; resource sharing and capacity-building; as well as consumer protection and industry development.