THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has lauded the move of lawmakers to pass the bill creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), saying it will help the province gain more strength in the highly-competitive ICT industry.
“It’s a good move moving forward, especially for Cebu, whose economic pillars include the ICT-BPO. It will further help sustain the growth of Cebu’s ICT industry,” said CCCI vice president for membership Melanie Ng.
“We will certainly lobby to make sure the DICT will soon be created,” Ng stressed.
CCCI emphasized they will support measures that would help improve Cebu’s competitiveness in the fields of tourism, entrepreneurship, and ICT-BPO, whose employee headcount is approaching 120,000.
The Philippine Business Groups and Joint Foreign Chambers (PBG-JFC) in a press statement, have pressed President Benigno Aquino III to sign into law the DICT bill before his term ends in the middle of this year.
“We look forward to the President’s signing into law the creation of the department with a young dynamic leader, and the introduction of a supplementary budget in the 2016 national budget so the department can move ahead as soon as possible,” the joint statement reads.
The business groups said the passage would boost the Philippines’ position as a “world leader” in ICT sector.
“This very important bill will help position the Philippines as a world leader in this growingly dominant sector of the global economy. The Philippines is already a world leader in business process management, employing some one million young people in well-paying jobs,” the group said.
The DICT was a priority bill of Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. The committee chairpersons who led its successful passage were Sen. Ralph Recto (science and technology), Rep. Romeo Acop (government reorganization), Rep. Susan Yap (information and communications technology) and Rep. Isidro Ungab (appropriations).
The DICT is envisioned to support the development of the ICT systems of the country.
Sen. Drilon, in reports, believes it is needed to make the country at par with the other economies of Southeast Asia.
It is also mandated to address issues on Internet connectivity and ensure stable communications services, aside from designing, implementing and ensuring the protection of an integrated government information and communications infrastructure system.
Aside from representing the country in ICT concerns abroad, the proposed department will take the lead on cybersecurity and formulate a strong protection and enforcement framework against cybercrime.