At the tailend of his term, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III has finally signed into law Republic Act No. 10844, which creates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The move was immediately met with enthusiasm by the local ICT sector, which has been pushing Aquino to sign the measure. Lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, former chair of the National ICT Council Federation of the Philippines, said the signing marked a “momentous day” for the ICT sector.
In a statement issued on Monday, May 23, Communication secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the DICT shall be headed by a secretary, who will be assisted by three undersecretaries and four assistant secretaries.
?The new law also provides that two of the three undersecretaries and two of the four assistant secretaries shall be career officers. One of the four assistant secretaries shall also be a licensed professional electronics engineer,? he said.
Coloma said the law also requires that the secretary, as well as the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, have ?at least seven years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology; information technology service management; information security management; cybersecurity, data privacy, e-Commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector.?
According to the new law, the following agencies are abolished and will be transferred to the newly created DICT:
? Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO);
? National Computer Center (NCC); National Computer Institute (NCI);
? Telecommunications Office (TELOF);
? National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI); and,
? All operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications
With the creation of the DITC, the DOTC shall be renamed as the Department of Transportation.
Coloma said the law provides for a six-month transition period from effectivity for the full implementation of the transfer of functions, assets and personnel.
In the meantime, ?the existing personnel shall continue to assume their posts in holdover capacities until new appointments are issued,? he added. — PNA