CITY Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, chair of the national information and communications technology, expressed dismay that the Senate during its last session failed to tackle the passage of a bill.

Said bill calls for the creation of a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

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Batapa-Sigue said the Senate failed to tackle the passage of the bill, instead they dwelt more on political calisthenics.

Earlier, the National ICT Conference of the Philippines, composed of 33 regional ICT councils urged the Senate to approve the bill creating said department before the elections.

Batapa-Sigue noted that last year, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines publicly issued its strong support for the said policy direction based on the crucial role that ICT plays in the Philippine economy.

She said with the DICT not in place before the 14th Congress ends, “ the stakeholders are now worried as to whether the 15th Congress will be populated with leaders have knowledge about the concepts of the information age, and whether the next President and vice president will prove to really be Filipino leaders of the 21st century.”

“The NICP will have no choice but to confront all incumbent senators as to also ascertain as well the commitment of the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial aspirants towards the industry,” she added.

Batapa-Sigue believed that the creation of the DICT will create a permanent entity that cannot be easily modified without the passage of another bill, “a permanence advocated by the various ICT councils and organizations in pursuit of a sustained support ICT development in the Philippines. Its major task would be to increase awareness of the benefits of ICT in order to bridge the digital divide.”