The Philippines' Globe Telecom is encouraging the government to establish a new Department of ICT to help improve the state of local internet services and the nation's digital readiness.
Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo urged outgoing president Benigno Aquino to sign the bill that would create the new department before he leaves office next month.
“The Philippines is in urgent need of an agency that will drive the country’s ICT development and help steer the country to realize its full potential as a digital economy where homes, businesses and individuals have access to fast and reliable data connectivity,” Castelo said.
“We are hopeful that enhancing ICT development in the country by creating the DICT would enable more business organizations to work more efficiently, maximize productivity and contribute to sustaining the country’s economic growth.”
Castelo said a policy framework for ICT development is sorely needed to help develop the nation's internet infrastructure.
Globe, for example, has faced regulatory hurdles inhibiting it from building more cell sites as part of its latest nationwide infrastructure program.
The proposed bill would abolish the Information and Communications Technology Office, National Computer Center, National Computer Institute, Telecommunications Office, National Telecommunications Training Institute and all communications units of the current Department of Transportation and Communications.
The functions of these departments would instead be taken up by the new DICT, which would also take responsibility for telecom regulator NTC, the National Privacy Commission and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center.