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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Oct 7, 2022

Philippines wins ITU seat reelection

The Philippines will continue to take on a vital role in advancing digital transformation for the good of all following our re-election in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council for the term 2023-2026.

The Philippines, represented by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is part of the 48 states that will lead the council after having been voted by 193 member States of the ITU at this year’s ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Bucharest, Romania.

With our successful re-election bid, our country through the DICT commits to work towards the fulfillment of the ITU’s mandate to make the digital future inclusive and more accessible for everyone, especially in developing countries.

In fact, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy emphasized the importance of this role, “This new ITU Council for 2023 to 2026 will allow DICT to lead our country’s involvement in discussions and decisions that will significantly shape the future of the world.”

DICT SECRETARY Ivan John Uy took his oath of office before President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., on Oct. 6, 2022 in Malacañang. Secretary Uy, has been reappointed as chief of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Currently, there are 2.9 billion people around the world who still lack access to the internet, according to the United Nations. This means, that the same number of people do not have easy access to information that could save their lives, or the knowledge and skills to be part of a digital economy. This means, they will continue to be left behind.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “digital transformation and connectivity are critical to rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals” as he stressed on the crucial role of the ITU in accelerating global connectivity for all by 2030.

Building a better digital future for all

The Bucharest Declaration affirms the commitment of ITU Member States to build a better digital future for all. It is a call to action to affirm the union’s commitment to ensure a free, open, and reliable internet for all; to enable and foster universal connectivity through secure telecommunications/ICTs; to promote equitable and inclusive use of telecommunications/ICTs for sustainable development; to collaborate with organizations to forge an inclusive digital economy; and to inspire contribution in fighting the climate crisis.

These commitments all sound good. The greater challenge is translating them into action. Collaboration — between governments, within a nation, among our people — is essential.

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is committed to provide digital connectivity across the country with the goal of building a digitally competitive nation for the Filipino people.

But our nation’s quest is part of a bigger picture. Technology as a whole is advancing at a high speed, however not all nations can keep up, resulting in a greater digital divide, which could further inequalities.

The Philippines’ presence in the ITU Council will allow the country to share best practices and even help other nations especially those facing similar challenges as ours. More importantly, we are part of a global effort to harness digital technologies for a sustainable and inclusive society and a positive future for all.

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