Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed on Monday, May 23, the law that would create a separate Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Republic Act 10844 streamlines all functions related to information and communication technology (ICT). A government body that keeps several co-dependent processes in one place ensures that IT management will be centralized. This allows for a more efficient and holistic decision making.
Among the business sectors seen to benefit from this law are the Philippine outsourcing and tech-related industries. This includes IT outsourcing, contact center services, healthcare outsourcing, and other offshored processes.
“A DICT is essential to promote e-governance; improve the internet experience at reasonable prices in order for all Filipinos to enjoy the benefits [of] the digital economy; support our dynamic business process outsourcing industry; enhance the nation’s cybersecurity; and otherwise improve national competitiveness,” said John Forbes, senior advisor at the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Advantages for Philippine call centers
The main function of the DICT is to “be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and Administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national ICT development agenda.”
Therefore, by supporting all IT and communication processes, the DICT can provide a strong framework for the Philippine outsourcing industry, which is mostly tech-dependent. Specifically, it can help develop an IT-oriented contact center workforce and distribute internet access across the country. It can also boost the country’s IT outsourcing sector, enabling it to create more knowledge-based jobs.
Aside from this, the DICT can also speed up the establishment of Next Wave Cities , or new outsourcing hubs, as IT services will be made equally competitive in all areas of the country. Currently, Philippine call centers are concentrated mainly in Metro Manila and Cebu City.
Transitions and adjustments
To begin the six-month transition period, the present Department of Transportation and Communication will be restructured. It will be renamed “Department of Transportation”, and all its units that deal with tech and communication will be transferred to the DICT.
In addition, several offices will be absorbed by the DICT. These are:
1. Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO);
2. National Computer Center (NCC);
3. National Computer Institute (NCI);
4. Telecommunications Office (TELOF); and
5. National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI).
Currently, the government is also on the lookout for seven leaders (three undersecretaries and four assistant secretaries) to keep the DICT running. They must have at least seven years of experience in the field of ICT, cybersecurity systems, ecommerce, or management of IT services. Those with a strong background in electronics engineering and career development are also preferred.
You may view the full-length RA 10844 document here.