The Philippine Senate has passed a measure creating an agency to support the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The measure, called the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Act, will create the new agency if signed into law by President Aquino. The main goals of the proposed agency are to promote digital literacy and ICT expertise among Filipinos, improve the country's competitiveness, and support outsourcing in the Philippines.
Senate President pro-tempore and bill sponsor Ralph Recto said that once signed into law, DICT will be the primary agency to spearhead the government's ICT agenda. It is expected to promote investment in the ICT sector and create partnerships to foster growth and competitiveness. DICT will also provide free internet services in schools and public areas and consolidate the government's ICT networks and resources into a single database to facilitate information requests.
Senate President Franklin Drilon explained that DICT was part of key economic reform legislation to help the country ease into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration and face major development challenges.
The measure will merge the National Computer Center (NCC), the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and other agencies under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) into one ICT governing body.