Secretary Mario G. Montejo
Department of Science and Technology
NICTAC Policy Consultative Workshop
2 October 2013, 0830 – 1700
Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Distinguished Members of the National ICT Advisory Council, Colleagues in Government, ICT Industry Stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, Good Morning.
Like Louis said I would like to thank all of you for coming today and lending us time from your busy schedules to participate in this first ever NICTAC Policy Consultative workshop.

Information and Communications Technology is the backbone of the Department of Science and Technology’s Smarter Philippines program for inclusive development.  Not only is ICT expected to significantly improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of government, ICT has also proven itself to be a catalyst for socio economic development.

You are all here today because we share in what ICT can do for the country and the Filipino.  With technology evolving at an exponential pace, and likewise integrating itself in various facets of our daily lives, it is vital that ICT policies and standards be in place to ensure that progress brought about by technology does not leave anyone behind.

This is not the first collaboration between government and industry, and this will not be the last.  Some of you here were instrumental in the development of the Philippine Digital Strategy which set the framework for what this assembly is about to embark on.  We are very hopeful that with the talent and experience assembled here today, we can make great strides towards inclusive socio-economic development through a Smarter Philippines.

Last year in Davao City, we launched the conceptual framework for Smarter Philippines – it is a mindset of continually finding better ways of doing things … a smarter way.  At DOST, this means leveraging science and technology to come up with new and better products, processes, services and systems – with the primary objective of improving Filipino lives.

The DOST-ICT Office together with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines are looking at locations outside Metro Manila and Metro Cebu called next wave cities as new IT Business Process Management destinations.  Last year we recently upgraded the Next Wave City of Bacolod to a center of BPM excellence, after having achieved and exceeded the target of 20,000 full time employees in their IT-BPM industry. These 20,000 FTEs contribute an estimated 300 million pesos per month in salaries to Bacolod’s local economy.  This substantial increase in the spending power of the residents of Bacolod resulted in a hundred percent increase in school and university enrolments, and proved that the cycle of poverty can indeed be halted with the power of ICT.

Information and communications technology can truly be a catalyst for change and as members of NICTAC, the National ICT Assembly and various study groups the will formed today, you have the opportunity to affect change on multiple levels and fast track the government’s various initiatives e-government, education, e-health, disaster prevention and mitigation and inclusive ICT.

Inclusive ICT is at the heart of all of these initiatives and is the reason why you are all here today. Among the priority study areas the that will be tackled today include:

• The National Broadband Plan – of which TV White Space is a component of;
• Cyber Security – Which includes Data Privacy and Government Cloud;
• Government ICT Standards in Personnel, Procurement, Education;
• Legal Convergence and Code of ICT-Related Laws

The National Broadband plan is part of our commitment to the ASEAN for regional economic integration by 2015, to achieve this, the policy framework for ICT needs to be in place, as well as standards in the priority study areas that I have just mentioned to ensure a seamless integration with the ASEAN community.

We have started with the development of standards in Cybersecurity with the issuance of Administrative order 39 which mandates all government agencies to host their respective websites in DOST’s secure server facilities, this together with government website template developed under the iGovPhil project we intend to minimize hackings and website defacements that have been a constant source of embarrassment for our Government.

Cybersecurity however goes beyond website security, and through the Cybersecury study group that will be convened today, we hope that significant inputs can be put forth for the draft of the implementing rules of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act, as well as guidelines on cloud use by government agencies.

Similarly, the Government also requires standards for our ICT personnel to ensure that our system administrators and MIS managers have the requisite qualifications to manage government information systems in the era of cloud computing.

Upon completion of rationalization of the DOST-ICT Office, a pool of 32 Government Chief Information Officers will be created and assigned to key government agencies to ensure that there is a constant synergy in our ICT related efforts, and thus avoiding the pitfalls of standalone systems and databases that we have today.

The role of ICT in Education cannot be denied, and as such, standards in methodology, materials and methods of instruction are needed, both public and private sector have initiatives in this area and is essential that ICT programs in education are compatible across all platforms in order for our students to get the most from their education.

I know that you have a very busy day today and I will not keep you from the tasks you have at hand. The NICTAC secretariat has informed me that they have designed today’s session to be open and participative, and as such I would like to invite you all to actively share your ideas and opinions with your assigned working groups as well as the general assembly.

I wish you all a very productive day and we are looking forward to more collaborations such as this in the near future.

Thank you very much at Mabuhay kayong lahat.