MANILA, Philippines – Retired Globe Telecom Chief Counsel Rodolfo “Rudy” A. Salalima has been appointed by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to head the new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), according to a statement by Globe Telecom on Wednesday, June 22.
“We are happy to share with you [the] latest news about the appointment” of Salalima as “the 1st DICT Secretary,” Globe said.
Salalima, a classmate of President-elect Duterte in San Beda law school, has extensive experience in IT and fulfills the requirement that the DICT’s secretaries should have at least 7 years experience in the field.
He joined Globe in 1993 going to become senior vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs until his retirement in 2008, and now serves in a consultant capacity as chief legal counsel and senior advisor, the Globe statement added.
Prior to that, he was board director and corporate and chief counsel of Radio Communications of the Philippines (RCPI).
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National ICT Advisory Council and serves as President of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators Incorporated (PCTO).
On the global stage, he served as Asia Pacific Representative and Vice Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council Working Group for the Amendment of the ITU Constitution and Convention based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Salalima leveraged his 40 years in IT to write a book about the industry in 2015 entitled the “Telecommunications in the Information Revolution.” It presents his perspective and insights into how law can accommodate fast-evolving developments in ICT.
The book’s title is apt as the new DICT is tasked with preparing the country for the IT revolution sweeping the world.
Signed into law by outgoing President Benigno Aquino in May, it is expected streamline government process by moving the process of applying for and issuing documents such as permits, licenses, land titles online.
This is crucial as while the country was an early adopter of e-government initiatives, the Philippines has also fallen 50 places in the E-Government Readiness Index since 2003 according to the United Nations (UN).
The new office is also tasked with widening the use of IT throughout the country and is expected to make free internet available in public spaces and government buidlings.
It will also look at ways to improve IT infrastructure that is crucial to different sectors, notably BPOs.
According to the 2015 State of Broadband report, the Philippines ranked 106th out of 191 countries, with 39.7% of individuals using the Internet.
Among 133 developing countries, the Philippines ranked 59th, with 26.9% of households with Internet. – Chris Schnabel/Rappler.com