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Aquino signs law creating DICT, restructuring DOTC

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III signed on Monday, May 23, a law creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). 

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that with the signing of Republic Act 10844, the present Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will be restructured.

It will be renamed the Department of Transportation, and all its operating units dealing with communications will be transferred to the newly-created DICT.

Aside from this, several agencies will also be moved to the new department: Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), National Computer Center (NCC), National Computer Institute (NCI), Telecommunications Office (TELOF), and National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI).

Under the new law, the DICT will be headed by a secretary, assisted by 3 undersecretaries and 4 assistant secretaries. They are required to have at least 7 years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology (ICT), information technology service management, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy, e-commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector.

The new law also mandates that two undersecretaries and two assistant secretaries should be career officers, while one assistant secretary should be a licensed professional electronics engineer.

There will be a 6-month transition period for the transfer of functions, assets, and personnel.

The bill creating the DICT was adopted by the Senate in December 2015, and transmitted to Malacañang on May 10.

Its principal sponsor, Senator Ralph Recto, said the bill would create a lean bureaucracy with a "small but smart workforce" and spur the development of the country's ICT sector. – Rappler.com