President Benigno Aquino 3rd has signed into law a bill creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Malacañang said on Monday.
In a statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino signed on Monday Republic Act 10844, which will also rename the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to “Department of Transportation.”
According to the new law, Coloma said five agencies and all operating units of the DOTC with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications will be abolished and transferred to the newly created DICT.
These include the Information and Communications Technology Office, National Computer Center, National Computer Institute, Telecommunications Office and the National Telecommunications Training Institute.
“As provided for in the law, the DICT shall be headed by a Secretary, who will be assisted by three Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries,” Coloma said.
Two of the three undersecretaries and two of the four assistant secretaries should be career officers.
“One of the four Assistant Secretaries will also be a licensed professional electronics engineer,” he added.
Coloma said the law also requires that the secretary and his undersecretaries and assistant secretaries should have “at least seven years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology; information technology service management; information security management; cybersecurity, data privacy, e-commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector.”
RA 10844 also provides for a six months transition period “for the full implementation of the transfer of functions, assets and personnel,” he said.
Meantime, “… the existing personnel shall continue to assume their posts in holdover capacities until new appointments are issued,” Coloma added.
RA 10844 states that information and communication have vital roles in nation-building and that it is the state’s policy to “ensure universal access to quality, affordable, reliable and secure ICT services.”
It should also “ensure the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.”