The establishment of DICT was first announced in the previous ICT masterplan from 2004-2010. Meant to effectively coordinate and implement the national ICT development agenda, policies, programmes and projects, the DICT never came to pass. In February 2010, a bill to create a fully-fledged Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) in the Philippines was thrown out by Congress.
In the new plan however, the current Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) looks set to be transformed into the DICT. The PDP states that: “Transforming the CICT into the DICT should result in a thorough implementation of the national e-strategies cutting across critical sectors such as e-education and e-health, and the country’s representation in international and regional ICT bodies.”
The paper states that the creation of DICT shall be pursued via the ‘DICT bill’ that if passed into law, would create an agency that would give focus on the development of IT and modern communication facilities—similar to the functions of Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).
Having DICT finally established will be a welcome move to many like Freddie Tinga, Taguig Representative, who in April 2011 urged Congress leaders to create the DICT.
William Artajo, Department Head, Management Information and Computer Services, Cebu City Government, who said to FutureGov Asia Pacific last December that “there isn’t even an agency with the power to control security in government agencies”, will soon see the formation of such an agency.
Apart from the creation of DICT, the PDP also outlined plans to maintain a pool of cybersecurity experts in government, facilitate ICT infrastructure investments in rural areas like Community e-Centres (CeC), and establishing a “secured data center and public key infrastructure system for government transactions to encourage the use of the e-government portal”.