Law creating new Dept of Information and Communications Technology officially signed

Image via Official Facebook page of Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy)
  • A new law creates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
  • The DICT takes on the communications-related functions of the DOTC
  • The DOTC is also renamed as the Department of Transportation

A law creating a new executive department that will focus solely on information and communications technology has been officially signed by President Benigno Aquino III.

Republic Act 10844 officially separates the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) into two distinct agencies by establishing a new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and renaming the DOTC as the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The new DICT shall be tasked to “ensure universal access to quality, affordable, reliable and secure ICT services” for all Filipinos, which includes mandates to promote the development and use of ICT, establish a free and accessible internet service in government offices and public areas, and protect the rights and welfare of consumers and businesses in matters relating to ICT, among others.

In this light, the DICT shall be the lead agency that will oversee offices transferred under its care such as the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), the National Computer Center (NCC), the National Computer Institute (NCI), the Telecommunications Office (TELOF), the National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI), and all other operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications.

Quoting salient provisions of the law, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma described the organizational structure of the new DICT.

“As provided for in the law, the DICT shall be headed by a Secretary, who will be assisted by three (3) Undersecretaries and four (4) Assistant Secretaries. Two of the three undersecretaries and two of the four assistant secretaries should be career officers. One of the four (4) Assistant Secretaries shall also be a licensed professional electronics engineer,” Coloma told the Inquirer.

The law also requires that the Secretary, Undersecretaries, and Assistant Secretaries should possess “at least seven (7) 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.”

With the bill now signed into legislation, the Executive branch shall be given six months transition period to implement the full transfer of assets, functions, and personnel of the two new departments.

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