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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Aquino Administration and the Priorities on ICT

The Possibilities of Creating the Department of Information Communications Technology in the Aquino Administration

After the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Noynoy Aquino, we are all starting to witness for the gradual progress of our country in the Aquino administration. He is starting to find solutions to the problems in our country and implement laws and programs which are timely and helpful to the needs of the citizens. One of the programs that the President should focus is the information communications technology (ICT) which is very popular in the society nowadays. Recently, a commission called Commission on Information Communications Technology (CICT) was created under Executive Order No. 269 dated January 12, 2004 that gives emphasis on the development of ICT in our country.

Last July 16, 2010, an article was written by Roberto R. Romulo on the Philippine Star about the Commission on ICT. According to Romulo, the President will pursue the creation of Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT). In addition, he also mentioned that no one had been appointed yet to the position of Chairman for the Commission of Information Communications Technology. This commission is an important office that can contribute greatly to the national modernization and economic expansion.

From this article, we can say that the administration should give priority on the Information Communications Technology because nowadays, technology is very clear and present among Filipinos from different sectors of society: from using of cellphones to computers up to the Internet. Hopefully in the Fifteenth Congress, it will approve by the legislators who create laws for the proper use of technology especially in cellphones, computers and Internet for the Filipinos. In addition, the creation and implementation of DICT is a milestone to our new government.

Plans and Programs for the Progress of the Information Communications Technology in the New Administration

If the Department of Information Communications Technology will come to life in this administration, what are the appropriate laws and programs to plan and implement by our politicians concerning the sector of information communications technology?

During the previous years, information communications technology (ICT) was gradually progressing in our society: from introduction of computers, high-tech machines and gadgets used by the members of the elite until it reaches its influence to the different sectors of society. It indicates that ICT is not just dominating the society but it is also relevant to the needs of people. For example, ICT is now integrated in education through adding Computer subjects in some elementary and secondary schools nationwide and in some degree courses in college. In addition, there are vocational and four-year courses that focus on computer and information technology, which prepares the citizens for the careers in the actual workplace and to meet the demands of the current mainstream of society which is technology and multi-tasking duties. Finally, ICT-oriented jobs such as call center agents, IT technicians, system analysts, web experts, office encoders and others are in-demand in the professional careers nowadays. These are the evidences that ICT made in our society in the new millennium.

After the creation of Commission of Information Communications Technology which was occurred during the Arroyo administration, we are hoping that this commission in the Aquino administration will give way to the foundation of Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) which functions as an office for implementing projects and laws focus on ICT in the Philippines. It also solves issues on the abuse of technology in our society.

There are some issues to solve and different programs to implement by the legislators if the creation will accomplish in the Aquino administration. There are five things to be accomplished if there are laws or programs to plan if DICT will come to life as a new department:

1. Continue the implementation of Computer and Information Technology courses in vocational schools, colleges and universities, additional time allotment and more detailed facilitating of lessons and activities for computer subjects in elementary and secondary level, and integration of ICT in other courses. Continue giving jobs and careers which focus on ICT for economic expansion and high employment rate.

2. Proper guidance for children and teenagers ages eighteen and below on using the computer and Internet by giving a legal rule on using the computer shops or Internet cafes.

3. There will be a research (in local and foreign scene) on E-waste or electronic waste management from computers, cellphones, gadgets and machines and how to recycle it properly.

4. Stop the online abuse like pornography, illegal downloading, scams, hacking, harassment, hate speech, gross disrespect, and cyberbullying which harm and offend other people in using the Internet. There will be a legal sanction for those who make those destructive online habits and coordinate with major websites in order to implement law and order in the Internet.

5. In terms of free downloading of music and videos online, there will be a registration in the said downloading website and affordable payment of fees which is effective for one year in order to have a good service in downloading media files in the website.

Hopefully, our President, legislators and public servants will consider ICT as one of the priorities in the national progress of our country and the Department of Information Communications Technology will create in the Aquino administration.

“Technology delayed is development denied.” - Roberto R. Romulo

Source: “Filipino Worldview” by Roberto R. Romulo, The Philippine Star Business Section, July 16, 2010, p. 3

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