An Appeal to Restore the Philippine Commission for Information and Communications Technology (CICT)
We hereby most respectfully and urgently appeal to His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to reconsider and recall Executive Order No. 47 dated June 23, 2011, which served to abolish the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) under the office of the President and instead simply create an ICT Office under the DOST.
EO 47 is going to cause major setback for the ICT sector of the Philippines, for the following reasons:
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has also scrapped the numerous programs and projects under its four strategic groups, namely, e-government, cyberservices, human capital, and information infrastructure as well as various pending partnerships with academe, local stakeholders, and industry associations that all serve to harness the Philippines’ potential with the use of ICT.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has unceremoniously cut the vital link of the Philippine government to the international ICT community, to major industry association in the Philippines and abroad, to various international and local ICT organizations, who are champions and advocates of their respective regional and provincial areas.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has removed the navigator of the plane which has just left the airport when all ICT stakeholders launch the Philippine Digital Strategy 2011-2015, a guide that was intended to help the President, as pilot, steer this nation to greatness once again. An experienced navigator would be necessary in steering our country to further heights at this point in time when global developments move fast towards the digital age.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 downgraded the value and underestimated the importance of ICT as tool for a digitally empowered, innovative, globally competitive and prosperous society where everyone has reliable, affordable and secure information access in the Philippines and a government that practices accountability and excellence to provide responsive online citizen-centered services and a thriving knowledge economy through public-private partnership.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 shows that the process leading to the decision was not widely consultative and as sensitive to the real sentiments of the ICT stakeholders especially in the local areas, which will eventually result to grave and serious damage on the thriving ICT community ably-assisted by the CICT, government’s most devoted emissary that has effectively partnered with the private sector for the last ten years.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has unjustly overlooked the effectiveness of CICT as an adviser and channel of sound government ICT policies for the last ten years, along with its accomplishments that surpassed the expectations of the ICT community, despite of its budget, which is a pittance compared to the other existing government agencies, which have no clear-cut directions and no accomplishments to show.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has derailed plans to fast track development and provide opportunities for investment and jobs to other regions in the country, by
removing the most effective catalyst and enabler of all the ICT councils in various regions, cities and provinces that has banded together to the vision of being the unifying advocate for countrywide ICT industry development, to promote foreign and local investments and balanced development, share information and best practices and transform the Philippines into a customer-oriented and competitive provider for global services, by generating new ICT business, increasing awareness of the ICT industry, ensuring sustainability and resource generation, being an effective implementing partner of the Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS), and increasing collaboration for information sharing and private-public partnership.
By scrapping the CICT, EO 47 has prevented the country from immediately responding to the global trend towards a digital economy and knowledge societies and ensure that the country‘s economy and society is prepared to compete in this digital economy and take advantage of the global opportunities.
With utmost respect and in full support of the goal of His Excellency for job generation, for a well-educated, and highly-skilled Filipino workforce, for a transparent, integrated and collaborative government, for the growth of local regions, and for universal access of Filipinos to the world, we are humbly and most respectfully appealing to His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines to reconsider and recall Executive Order No. 47 dated June 23, 2011, and restore the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) under the Office of the President.