Guingona files new bill creating Dept. of ICT

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Sen. Teofisto ?TG? Guingona III Sen. Teofisto ?TG? Guingona III[/caption] Two years ago, a similar legislation authored by Sen. Edgardo Angara was able to hurdle the final reading in the Senate. A couple of months earlier, the House of Representatives had passed a counterpart bill under the sponsorship of Taguig representative Sigfrido Tinga. However, Pres. Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III, who was vocal in his opposition in the creation of the DICT, did not sign the bill until the proposed law lapsed with the adjournment at the 15th Congress in 2013. Guingona?s DICT proposal, tagged as Senate Bill 2144, effectively reorganizes the current structure of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Under the proposed measure, the DOTC shall be tasked to matters pertaining to transportation sector and shall be known as the Department of Transportation. The DICT, meanwhile, will be tasked to ensure the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient, and ?citizen-centric? ICT infrastructure, systems, and resources as instruments of nation-building and global competitiveness. “The development of communications technology, particularly the Internet, has evolved rapidly that we can ill-afford to be left behind as a nation. For better or worse, the Internet has changed the playing field and it is imperative upon the state to ensure the country’s competitiveness in a globalized environment,” Guingona said. The lawmaker added that the government is mandated by law under the Constitution to recognize ?the vital role of communications and information in nation-building.? Under the proposed measure, the DICT will have its own Secretary that will be appointed by the President. All operating units of the DOTC with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications shall be transferred to the DICT. “Having a department that would exclusively focus on issues relating ICT has become a vital need inasmuch as the Internet has become an indispensable tool in bringing people together. As a growing industry, we need to ensure that ICT is regulated and that it will benefit the general public,” he added. Guingona said the creation of DICT will help immensely in protecting the welfare of the general public where ICT is concerned. ]]>

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