The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) seeks the approval of its proposed 46.6 Billion Peso budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021. This is to effectively implement the Department’s strategic programs towards digital transformation in the new normal, according to DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.

Secretary Honasan added that the proposed budget is 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) to rebuild the economy and adapt to the “new normal” of economic activity.

In its proposal, the DICT allotted 22.1 billion pesos, the biggest chunk of its proposed budget, 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.

“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,” Secretary Honasan explained.

Meanwhile, 11.7 Billion Pesos was allotted to DICT’s Digital Government initiatives, 10.2 Billion Pesos for Digital Workforce and Digital Education, 55 Million Pesos for Digital Cities and Provinces, 1.05 Billion Pesos for Cybersecurity, and 1.3 Billion Pesos for DICT’s Internal DICT Programs.

The proposed budget for FY 2021 is significantly much higher than its current budget for FY 2020 which amounts only to around 6 Billion Pesos.

“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,” Secretary Honasan explained.