PIDS urges policymakers to review scope of DICT authority
The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has urged lawmakers to review the scope of the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) authority, and remove overlapping roles and define its functions in the regulation of e-commerce and ICT services. Lai-Lynn Barcenas, PIDS consultant, said in a policy note titled “ICT Regulation and Regulatory Authority” that some of the DICT’s functions are incompatible or overlap with those of other departments. Barcenas added that the law creating the DICT does not have sufficient guidance on the scope of its power, and that the DICT’s authority over other elements of the ICT sector are unclear. The DICT was created in 2015 to develop policies and plans for ICT development in the country. It currently has broad powers over telecommunications, broadcasting, data privacy, consumer protection, and the promotion of trade and investment in ICT and ICT-enabled services (ICT-ES). Barcenas suggested the creation of a lone ICT regulator that has power over all ICT matters and the authority to interpret ICT-related concerns for the guidance of other regulators.