August 13, 2012
ICT WILL IMPROVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the importance of the bill institutionalizing the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in facilitating disaster response, especially following the recent devastation caused by the southwest monsoon.
Angara, author of the measure, said ICT through social media played a big role in information dissemination, rescue operations, and relief efforts during the last week.
"Bayanihan was very evident online during the calamity this week," Angara said. "Despite the massive flooding and power outages, people were able to get updates on the latest weather and traffic advisories, and receive information regarding evacuation and donation centers via mobile Facebook and Twitter.
"As a result, many stranded victims were rescued as soon as possible, and updates were disseminated to the public in fast and timely way, complementing information from traditional media like radio and television," added Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
Angara however noted that the country has yet to maximize the full potential of having ICT-enabled initiatives.
"The DICT will help us become more strategic in our use of ICT. It will help government draw up policies and programs that will make it more efficient, effective, and transparent. If passed, DICT can and will improve social services, including disaster management," he explained.
Angara is the main proponent of the Data Privacy Act and the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which are both ready for signing by the President, and the measure creating the DICT, which has yet to be approved by a bicameral conference committee.
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