Keynote Message

Gregorio B. Honasan II

Secretary

Department of Information and Communications Technology

31st National Statistics Month Opening Ceremony

“Bridging Digital Gaps: Making Information Available to All”

01 October 2020

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua; Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa; fellow public servants, partners from the private sector and the academe, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Journeying towards our envisioned Digital Philippines is like going through a winding and intricate road system, filled with turns, crossings and bumps, rather than a straight paved highway— the way forward isn’t always simply “forward”.

In traversing the complexities of our expedition towards national digital transformation, we need constant information—information to tell us whether we should go left, turn right or to keep going forward at certain points—information on what roads to take and what roads to avoid—information that will not just point us towards the marked destination, but also tell us exactly where we are, where we came from, and how far we have come.

This is where data and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) statistics come in. The data serves as our guide in ensuring that our government is steering national ICT development initiatives on the right course. We could call it, in a way, as our GPS, allowing us to make swift, yet informed decisions along the way. With the added element of being citizen-centric, data and ICT statistics help shape policies that are reflective of the needs of the people, making sure no one is left behind and that we are taking along every Filipino in our journey.  

Your Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) plays a vital role in gathering and utilizing data and ICT statistics. The Department is embarking on various national data-gathering initiatives as part of its Digital Philippines framework. 

The data gathered can help government agencies monitor programs and develop evidence-based projects and policies geared towards improving the lives of Filipinos, especially now, while the country transitions to a new way of life (new normal).

In 2019, your DICT and the Philippine Statistical Research Institute (PSRTI), an attached agency of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), conducted a national survey—the National ICT Household Survey or NICTHS that assessed the country’s status in terms of access and usage of ICT.  

The need for policies and programs on digitalization has never been as urgent as it is now. As we continue to navigate through this new normal, we expect to encounter unfamiliar roads, difficult turns and unexpected crossroads. Nonetheless, consistently guided by insights learned from data and ICT statistics, we can stay on course—confidently taking every needed turn, as roads become more predictable, and drivers and passengers alike are more prepared for the occasionally rough ride.  Through the science of statistics, we can take the Filipino all the way to our collective vision of a Digital Philippines. 

On behalf of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), we are honored to be part of the 31st National Statistics Month celebration. As the co-chair of the Interagency Committee on ICT Statistics, we will continue to do our part in making information on ICT data and statistics available to all. Rest assured that we will also continue to improve our digitization efforts in support of the entire government. 

Maraming salamat po, Mabuhay tayong lahat and God Bless

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