Aquino signs law creating information, communications technology department

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Benigno Aquino III on Monday (May 23) signed into law a bill creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The new department will promote ICT development, institutionalize e-government, and manage the country's ICT environment, according to the Information and Communications Technology Office.

"The Department shall be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national ICT development agenda," the law says.

The DICT will be headed by a Secretary, who will be assisted by three Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries, who are all required to be a licensed professional electronics engineer. The law requires all these DICT officials to have at least seven years of experience in the ICT sector.

Five government agencies will be abolished and absorbed by the DICT, namely: the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), the National Computer Center (NCC), the National Computer Center Institute (NCI), the Telecommunications Office (TELOF), and the National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI).

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation and Communications will be renamed as Department of Transportation, as all its communications units will be transferred to the DICT.

Three agencies will be attached to the DICT: the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the National Privacy Commission (NPC), and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center (CICC) – which will be headed by the DICT secretary.

There will be a six-month transition period to ensure the effective transfer of functions, assets, and personnel. Existing personnel will continue to hold their posts in holdover capacities until new appointments are made.