Written as a Facebook Note on October 17, 2010
Our country will soon see a new ingredient in the formula to success – the full utilization and integration of information and communications technology to nation-building. At the rate we are going, we might be able to achieve this sooner than we thought with strong champions in the legislative, and hopefully in the executive branch.
I received last week an official invitation from the Committee on Government Reorganization, lead committee now hearing the consolidated bills creating a Department for Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that as early as first week of November, we shall have our first meeting of the technical working group (TWG).
As chair of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, it is my honor to be part of the TWG. What I intend to do is to make the process even more consultative and participatory since that is my training ever since.
Hence here I shall share with everyone, initially the policy statement of the bills and the proposed mandate of the DICT for the purpose of informing our constituency of the value of this piece of pending legislation and getting more suggestions that I can bring to the TWG level.
It is the policy of the State to promote the utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) as a vital tool for nation-building and economic growth that is government-enabled, private sector- led, citizen-centric and market-based. Towards this end, government shall prioritize the effective coordination and implementation of its national and local ICT and ICT-enabled services, programs and projects and other related initiatives and reorganize and revitalize all relevant governmental institutions in order to achieve a streamlined and efficient structure that is responsive and attuned to national goals and objectives.
It shall be likewise the policy of the State to provide an environment that will support investments in cost-efficient ICT infrastructure, systems and resources, to ensure universal access and high-speed connectivity at fail and reasonable costs; a level playing field for strategic alliances with investors in order to have a balanced investments between high-growth and economically depressed areas; ensure consumer protection and welfare and preserve the rights of individuals and entities to privacy and confidentiality through transparent governance, and effective delivery of government frontline services.
The mandate of the DICT is to be the primary policy, planning and coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the executive branch of the Government that will promote, develop and oversee the government’s integrated and strategic ICT systems and ensure reliable and cost-efficient communications facilities and services.
The Department shall likewise be responsible for the government’s information and communications technologies in order to improve the productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of the national and local government programs.
The Department shall furthermore be responsible for ensuring the application of ICT to the various processes of government functioning. In fulfilling its mandate, the Department shall be guided by the following strategic objectives:
(a) ensure the provision of strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric ICT infrastructure, systems, and resources as instruments of nation-building and global competitiveness;
(b) Foster a policy environment for ICT sector that will promote market-led broader development of the ICT and ICT-enabled s service sector, a level playing field partnerships between public and private sectors, strategic alliance with foreign investors and balanced investments between high-growth and economically-depressed areas;
(c) Foster and accelerate convergence of ICT facilities such as, but not limited to the development of networks;
(d) ensure universal access and high-speed connectivity at fair and reasonable costs;
(e) ensure availability and accessibility of ICT services in areas not adequately served by the private sector;
(f) promote and encourage the widespread use , creative development, access to, ICT with priority consideration on the requirements for growth of the Philippine ICT industry;
(g) promote and assist the development of local and national content application and services in the area of ICT by sourcing or providing funds and construction assistance for ICT-hubs and/or technical support to local-based providers in these endeavors and in the marketing of the local products to the global community;
(h) establish a strong and effective regulatory and monitoring system that will ensure investor and consumer protection and welfare and foster a healthy competitive environment;
(i) promote the technical training and scholarships, and the development and use of expertise in ICT and ICT-enabled services in the country’s human capital to enable Filipinos to compete in a fast-evolving information and communications age;
(j) ensure the growth of ICT and ICT-enabled industries including mobile technologies, applications and services;
(k) preserve the rights of the individual to privacy and confidentiality of their personal information;
(l) encourage the use of ICT in support of efforts or endeavors for the development and promotion of the country’s arts and culture, history, education public health and safety, and other socio-civic purposes;
(m) sustain the development of a nationwide postal system as an integral component of the over-all development of ICT in the country;
(n) ensure the security of ICT infrastructures and assets of individuals and businesses;
(o) empower, through the use of ICT, the disadvantaged segments of the population including persons with disabilities (PWD) or who are differently-abled.
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