ICT chief: DICT needs to improve access, legal framework

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ICT Office chief Louis Casambre. Credit: ITU ICT Office chief Louis Casambre. Credit: ITU[/caption] This is according to Department of Science and Technology undersecretary and ICT Office executive director Louis Napoleon Casambre during the sidelines of the Innovative Strategies for Development Summit (ISDS) in Pasig City, where he revealed that only 17 percent of elementary schools in the country have internet connection. ?We have to do something about that. Right now, we rely only on the private sector,? he told reporters. Casambre, however, also noted the government has already started to invest on providing internet connection. ?That?s what we?ve started to do with the free Wi-Fi program. The government is investing so that access becomes universal,? he said. The Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project is now on its second year of implementation, according to Casambre. The government official said the DICT also needs to look at country?s legal framework on ICT. ?These are antiquated. Our existing laws were crafted during the pre-internet era, in 1996, or even older,? he explained. ?We need to update those things.? The ICT chief also said the government must encourage Filipinos to use the internet to for productivity and know-how, rather than using it only for entertainment and socialization. Signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III last May 23, the creation of DICT takes effect on Thursday, June 9. The agency will be in charge of planning, developing and promoting the national ICT development agenda. Under the law, all agencies and offices with communications function, such as the ICT Office, will be under the DICT umbrella. — Ma. Cristina C. Arayata (PNA) ]]>

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