Photo screen grabbed from RTVM coverage during the Typhoon Usman situation briefing in Pili, Camarines Sur on Saturday, 5 January 2018.

Amid another case filed against the third telco initiative, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has found a strong ally – the President himself.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is rallying behind DICT as he wants no further delay in the Department’s connectivity projects, according to Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. after meeting the President during the Typhoon Usman situation briefing in Pili, Camarines Sur on Saturday.

And the President’s support goes beyond the recently-concluded new major player awarding, which had another petition filed before the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the entire selection process.

“Our President told me, ‘I want this to be known: I don’t want any project of DICT to receive any injunction or TRO in any court’,” Rio shared on his New Year’s message to DICT employees on Monday, 7 January 2019.

Currently, the Department is hands on in implementing the Free Wi-Fi in Public Places Project, National Cybersecurity Plan, National Broadband Program (NBP) and Government Emergency Communications System (GECS), among others.

The DICT is also pushing for the passage of the Open Access and Spectrum Management bill in the Congress while a common tower policy conducive to fair competition is being pursued.

But to continue securing the Duterte’s support, Rio said the Department had to abide to the President’s wish – a corruption-free institution.   

“He (Duterte) committed to support all of our projects but he doesn’t want to hear any of it involved in corruption,” Rio added.