In March, Senator Ralph Recto proposed to pass a bill that would not only restructure the DOTC and concentrate its efforts on the transportation woes of the country, but create a new department to primarily handle the information and communications sector. Today, President Aquino just signed the law making Republic Act No. 10844, known as Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2015, official.
With the new law in place, we will see the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) renamed to the Department of Transportation, as well as the abolishing of several agencies with their assets transferred to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The DICT will play a key role in making the push for ICT solutions. Here are some excerpts from the newly signed law.
RA No. 10844 Sec 2B
To ensure the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.
RA No. 10844 Sec 2E
To ensure the availability and accessibility of ICT services in areas not adequately served by the private sector.
RA No. 10844 Sec 2L
To ensure the rights of individuals to privacy and confidentiality of their personal information.
RA No. 10844 Sec 2M
To ensure the security of critical ICT infrastructures including information assets of the government, individuals, and businesses.
As you can tell, the DICT will have their hands full trying to protect our information to possibly prevent data leaks, like the recent broo-ha-ha with Comelec, and trying to boost ICT services in different sectors among their many other tasks. We should also be seeing standardized government websites that are hopefully less prone to hacks.
The law also states that officials appointed to run the DICT must have “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.”
There will be a 6-month transition period before the new department is fully up and running and hopefully consolidating all the agencies into this single department focused on the IT sector can move things along faster.