Globe Telecom is pressing for the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), saying this would help elevate the local state of internet and usher in the country to become a digital economy.
“The Philippines is in urgent need of an agency that will drive the country’s ICT development and help steer the country to realize its full potential as a digital economy where homes, businesses, and individuals have access to fast and reliable data connectivity. We are hopeful that enhancing ICT development in the country, by creating DICT, would enable more business organizations to work more efficiently, maximize productivity and contribute to sustaining the country’s economic growth,” Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said.
“We anticipate that the creation of the DICT will establish an appropriate policy framework for ICT development in the country, promoting the continuity of such policies and enabling telecommunication providers to enhance the quality of their services, including internet connectivity,” Castelo added.
Castelo pointed out that Globe, for instance, has embarked on another nationwide infrastructure program to build on its network infrastructure and enhance the country’s internet experience.
However, the company has been facing difficulties in building more cell sites and in establishing right-of-ways as it is currently in the process of expanding capacity expansion for both its mobile and wireline networks using different technologies including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi.
The creation of DICT and formulation of a policy framework for ICT development would help expedite the deployment of ICT infrastructure such as cell sites and fiber optics.
A bill creating the DICT is now up for signing by President Aquino, just about a month before he relinquishes his post. The President has a 30-day review period within which he could sign the bill into law or veto it.
The proposed measure designates the DICT as the primary entity responsible for planning, promoting, and aiding in the development of the country’s ICT sector. It also has the task of ensuring reliable, cost-efficient communications facilities, along with other multimedia infrastructure and services.
Once enacted into law, the measure would abolish the Information and Communications Technology Office, National Computer Center, National Computer Institute, Telecommunications Office, National Telecommunications Training Institute, and all operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications that deal with communications.
Meanwhile, the DICT shall attach the National Telecommunications Commission, National Privacy Commission, and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center.
The DOTC, soon to be renamed the Department of Transportation, will retain all offices, services, divisions, units, and personnel not covered by the proposed act.
Additionally, the DICT shall also transfer all powers and functions related to cybersecurity, including but not limited to formulating the National Cybersecurity Plan, establishing the National Computer Emergency Response Team, and facilitating international cooperation on intelligence regarding cybersecurity matters.