Cebu City 2nd District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa has filed a bill seeking the mandatory appointment of information and communications technology officers for the provincial, city and municipal governments to strengthen the digital transformation capacity of local government units (LGUs) in the country.
Under House Bill No. 8420 or the proposed “Local Information and Communications Technology Officer Act”, the lawmaker cited the need to create such local government position that will be responsible and accountable for the implementation of digital transformation in the LGUs.
“As we were forced to implement drastic measures to improve our digital infrastructure, we must also make sure that we have sufficient people who are equipped to manage such infrastructure, as well as the ability to design and employ the necessary processes for a full digital transformation,” Abellanosa said in his bill’s explanatory note.
He said his bill seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 by “inserting provisions that will guarantee the appointment of an adept Information Communications Technology Officer in each local government unit to address such concern.”
HB 8420 provides that a municipal, city, and provincial information and communications technology officer (ICTO) shall be appointed. Under the bill, the municipality, city and province have the option to set the rank, remuneration and other emoluments of the municipal, city and provincial ICTO, respectively subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
The local information and communications technology officer shall have the following qualifications: a citizen of the Philippines; a resident of the concerned local government unit and of good moral character; a holder of a college degree on ICT, Computer Engineering, Data Science, Electronics and Communications Engineering from a recognized college or university; and a first grade civil service eligible or its equivalent.
Before being appointed as provincial or city ICTO, he or she must have at least five years experience in ICT. For municipal ICTO, he or she must have acquired experience in ICT and related experiences for at least three years.
Among the duties and responsibilities of the information and communications technology officer are:
-Formulate measures for the consideration of the Sangguanian and provide technical assistance and support to the local chief executive in carrying out measures to ensure the digitization of public documents, digitization of government process and overall digital transformation of government;
-Develop and implement plans and strategies on the integration and utilisation of ICT for the digital transformation of government upon the approval of the local chief executive;
-Take custody of and be accountable for all properties, real or personal, owned by the local government unit and those granted to it in the form of donation, reparation, assistance and counterpart of joint projects;
-Be in the frontline of ICT programs and services of the local government in partnership with private sector; and
-Recommend to the Sangguanian and advise the local chief executive, on all other matters relative to the ICT.