Gender equality, child online protection, and use of ICT for development are high on the agenda of the Philippines as it begins its participation in the 2016 session of the International Telecommunication (ITU) Council, which is being held in Geneva from May 25 to June 02.

The Philippines, which had just signed a bill on May 23 creating the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), is led by Mr. Louis Napoleon Casambre, Undersecretary for the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO).

The Philippines is a staunch supporter of international efforts to ensure balanced gender representation in international organizations, including ITU, and is guided by its own Magna Carta for Women. The Philippines also supports international efforts to strengthen cybersecurity and stop cybercrime, including child pornography.

Meanwhile, the use of ICT as a tool for development is an overarching theme of the national ICT agenda, guided in part by the Sustainable Development Goals. National efforts include the provision of free internet access to rural areas and projects that help individuals enhance their skills and find employment through online portals made available in community centers.

The Philippines was re-elected to be among the countries representing Asia and Australia in the ITU Council at elections held in South Korea in October 2014.

Source: The Philippine Information Agency