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DICT urged: Focus on policies

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva June 13,2016 - 10:05 PM

A VENTURE capitalist is encouraging the newly created Department of Information Communication and Technology (DICT) to focus on policies that would disrupt the present telecommunications duopoly in the country.

“The population is suffering, paying a lot of money for useless bandwidth,” Diosdado Banatao said in a press conference during Slingshot Cebu 2016 at the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino last Saturday.

Banatao, who spoke before tech start-up owners at the event, agreed that the Philippines’ slow Internet connection brought about by a lack of players in the market has stunted the growth of innovative enterprises in the country.

He suggested, however, that the DICT should focus on policy-making and leave the technology development to the industry.

“They have to be strong, but they should not get into the business of doing anything technology(-related). That should be left to the industry, to the entrepreneurs who know how to design things, and that they should support them,” said Banatao, chairman of the Philippine Development (Phildev) Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at sparking long term economic growth in the Philippines through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Right now, he said the government is “so weak to convince these companies (not to practice duopoly).”

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III signed last month a law creating the DICT whose powers and functions include policy and planning, improved public access, resource sharing and capacity-building, and consumer protection and industry development.

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