President Benigno Aquino III has issued an executive order to abolish the Philippine ICT agency and transfer its function under a department as part of the programme to streamline government bureaucracy.
Through the Executive Order 47 signed June 23, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), an agency tasked to develop the country’s ICT policies, will be transferred under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST).
The new office will be named as the Information Communication Technology Office (ICTO).
Aquino likewise abolished the positions of the CICT chairman and the commissioners. ICTO will be headed by an executive director with the rank of undersecretary.
The CICT attached agencies—National Computer Centre and the Telecommunications Office—will also be transferred to the DoST.
EO 47 states that DOST is to prepare a medium-term development plan for ICT research and development, and its linkages to the ICT industry, and a medium-term e-governance infrastructure and information systems plan.
The CICT has unveiled its Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS) for 2011 to 2016 on Wednesday, a five-year ICT roadmap for the country. EO 47 came just as the country ended its celebration on June 30 of National ICT Month.
Former CICT chief Atty. Ivan John Uy said he has not received yet any notice about re-appointment as undersecretary to head the ICTO yet he remain positive about the order to transfer CICT to DoST.
“We welcome any development that will push the ICT agenda of the country forward. I’m sure President Aquino has his reasons for reorganizing his Cabinet,” former CICT chief Atty. Ivan John Uy said in an interview.
DoST chief Mario Montejo said he also welcomes the ICTO, which will be added DoST’s already many sub-agencies. He said he will study the CICT’s five-year Philippine Digital Strategy drafted under Uy’s term.
“The ICTO under DoST will accelerate the development of a connected government and integrate IT government systems under a unified platform. Consolidating all government ICT programs will likewise put an end to inefficient ICT projects that are disjointed or duplication of each other,” Montejo said in a statement.
The ICTO will streamline research and innovation in ICT to address issues such as cybercrime, disaster risk management, and environment protection, according to DoST.
Within three months, DoST will submit to Aquino a rationalization plan. Uy confirmed that he will be meeting Montejo to discuss the transition and study the parts of the ICT Roadmap for immediate implementation.