PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar (photo by Richard V. Viñas)
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the “Information Technology Review Committee” is expected to present its recommendation on how to hasten the national broadband plan to President Duterte in 15 days.
“We have created an information technology council or committee within the Cabinet to review the national broadband project,” Andanar said in Filipino during a radio interview. “We will come up with a recommendation to the President on the best way to fast track the internet connection, establish connection in areas still without internet,” he added.
The five-man review committee would be headed by National Security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
Aside from Andanar, the heads of the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the Department of Science and Technology, and Presidential adviser for economic affairs Ramon Jacinto would be part of the group.
“We were instructed to move ASAP,” Andanar said in a text message.
“DICT is part of the council. No duplication because it’s just a review committee which will advise the President,” he added.
Under the NBP, the government aims to implement various interventions to ensure fast, reliable and affordable internet service to Filipinos amid a digital economy. It seeks to interconnect government offices, increase internet penetration especially in far-flung areas, and stimulate economic growth through the digital empowerment of the people.
The creation of the broadband review committee comes on the heels of the dismissal of DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima over his alleged bias toward a former telco employer.
President Duterte earlier admitted he fired Salalima amid complaints he sat on proposals from foreign telcos while favoring Globe Telecom. Salalima used to be a chief legal counsel of Globe.