Thursday, November 18, 2010

(#1) DICT: to be or not to be? (a question of Political Willpower)

The 14th Congress did not enact into law the bill to convert the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) into a department.

According to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma, there is no need for that. He said that the government is not in a position to bear the higher level of administrative cost of creating a separate department.

I understand that it’s a policy consideration of the administration but I believe that there is a need to convert CICT into a department considering that ICT plays a vital role in the country’s economy, with the BPO alone as the second largest contributor to GDP. CICT Chair Ivan Uy reports that the BPO industry is in hyper growth mode, growing by 500 per cent over the past five years. He believes that the sector needs to be nurtured and allowed to be more globally competitive

The move for a Department of ICT is seen as a necessary step towards the Philippines becoming a world-class IT hub
[3]. It would be equipped with strong and clearly defined powers, appropriate manpower and resources to effectively coordinate and implement national ICT programs, projects and other related initiatives as a priority of government[4] as well as address major issues related to the IT and BPO sectors such as intellectual property rights, human resources, data protection, security, and quality management and standards[5].

I think it’s not that there’s no need to convert CICT into a department; rather it’s just that there’s no political willpower to make it happen. As they say, “if there’s a will, there’s a way”, so I’m sure that if the government prioritized streamlining the different ICT-related government agencies to provide effective and focused leadership in the implementation of ICT policy
[6], they would find means to make DICT a reality.

Entry No. 1


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