Undersecretary Louis Napoleon C. Casambre
Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office
NICTAC Policy Consultative Workshop
2 October 2013, 0830 – 1700
Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Fellow Members of the National ICT Advisory Council, Colleagues in Government, Partners in Industry, Stakeholders in Information and Communications Technology, Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome and a pleasant good morning to all of you.

I know all of you are very busy and I would like to sincerely express our appreciation for accepting our invitation and taking time from your busy schedules to participate in NICTAC’s first Policy Consultative Workshop.   I say the first because we will have more of these workshops as we help shape and formulate ICT policy and strategies to help bring about true inclusive socio economic growth through ICT.

Today’s event is a fulfillment of the mandate given to us by the president to formulate the appropriate policy and program framework that will promote the rapid development and improved global competitiveness of our country’s ICT industry through research and development and through effective linkages to industry and academe

As mentioned in our invitation we seek to achieve three things at this workshop:

1. To orient policy stakeholders to the nature, function, and operational parameters of the NICTAC, as outlined in its draft     Charter;
2. To introduce the concept and architecture of “policy study areas/groups” as the primary venue for multi-stakeholder participation in ICT policy development within NICTAC. Modeled after the IETF.
3. To identify and convene specific policy “study areas” for urgent multi-stakeholder discussion towards concrete policy recommendations;

The study group areas are of particular importance to us, as we believe that policy development in these areas are needed in order to have a healthy policy environment to ensure that Government, the Industry and our citizens maximize the benefits of ICT.

The four areas of study areas we have identified are:
1.    National Broadband Plan – TV White Space
2.    Cyber Security – Data Privacy/Government Cloud
3.    Govt ICT Standards – Personnel/Procurement/Education
4.    Legal Convergence: Code of ICT-Related Laws

Al though these are the priority areas we have listed, I am sure that there are other study areas that we also need to focus on.  And as such we have designed this workshop to be open for the development of other areas o f study.

In January of this year we organized a multi-stakeholder consultation on TV White Space, where in we invited various stakeholders from broadcast, telecommunications, ICT industry associations and the media to discuss the possibilities for these exciting new technologies, From the faces I see here today, I know many of you were in attendance at that event.   But for those not familiar with these technologies, TV White Space or TVWS refer the use of unallocated UHF and VHF frequency spectrum for data communications.

These relatively new technologies and the Philippines is only the second Asian country after Singapore to look in to TVWS.  We believe TVWS are an ideal fit for the Philippine situation, with its long range propagation characteristics, the capability to go through thick foliage and ability to travel over water gives it an edge over other wireless standards, especially in an island nation like ours.

We are looking at developing a policy environment for TVWS that will protect the spectrum’s incumbent users while maximizing its potential as a catalyst for digital inclusiveness. We are looking forward to the inputs from the various study groups that will be convening today.

All of you here have been selected for your expertise in your respective fields both in the private and public sector, as strategic thinkers in Business, Technology, and the rule of law.  Your contributions to this workshop will be well valued in shaping the policy environment for our sector,  that will hopefully drive it forward for many years to come.

In a little while Bettina will be providing you the details of the operational guidelines of the NICTAC  and give you a brief run through of the NICTAC Charter that the NICTAC Executive board will be signing today.
I understand Al has designed a very open format for today’s workshop, in which case please keep the ideas flowing and the discussions lively and productive.
Secretary Montejo was supposed to deliver the keynote message today, however he had to meet with the President this morning and he asked that I deliver the keynote on his behalf.