ICT department proposes P46.6-billion budget for fiscal year 2021

Department says “biggest chunk” for programs aimed at “digital transformation” for the new normal

(Eagle News)–The Department of Information and Communications Technology is pushing for its proposed P46.6-billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021.

In a statement, the department said the “biggest chunk” of the proposal–P22.1 billion—was for its Digital Connectivity and Access programs, particularly the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Free WiFi for All in Public Places and State Universities and Colleges Program, and the Government Emergency Communications System.

Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said this was to   effectively implement the Department’s strategic programs towards digital transformation in the new normal, noting that the proposal was in line with the goals of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Inter-Agency Task Force-Technical Working Group on Anticipatory and Forward Planning (IATF-TWG-AFP).

“Digital connectivity and access is the foundation of digital transformation. It is only with a secure and reliable Internet connectivity for every Filipino can we implement programs and initiatives towards digitalization in various sectors of our society,”  Honasan said.

Meanwhile, P11.7 Pesos is allotted to DICT’s Digital Government initiatives, P10.2 billion  for digital workforce and digital education, P55 million for the Digital Cities and Provinces program, P1.05 billion for cybersecurity, and P1.3 billion for DICT’s internal DICT programs.

The department said the proposed budget for FY 2021 is significantly much higher than its current budget for FY 2020 which amounts only to around P6 billion.

“We hope that both houses of congress will approve our proposed budget for 2021. Now more than ever, the call for digital transformation has never been more urgent. We need all the resources to fast track the country’s digital transformation for us to better adapt to the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,”  Honasan said.