MANILA (2ND UPDATE) - Musician and businessman Ramon 'RJ' Jacinto has been named undersecretary of the government agency in charge of the country's telecommunications and internet infrastructure, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Jacinto's appointment to the Department of Information and Communications Technology. He was previously named presidential adviser on economic affairs and information technology communications.
The 74-year-old official replaced former DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr., whose resignation was accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte last week.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Jacinto would serve as DICT undersecretary until May 22, 2022. Jacinto campaigned for Duterte in the 2016 elections.
"We are confident that Usec. Jacinto will serve DICT with dedication and integrity and will contribute to achieving the Department's mandate under the current administration," Roque said.
Jacinto thanked the President for the appointment, saying he looks forward to pushing for reforms in the telecommunications industry such as the implementation of the National Broadband Plan as well as free WiFi services.
"I look forward to galvanizing and pushing reforms in the telecommunications industry in our country particularly the Independent Common Tower Policy that the President tasked me to do as the presidential adviser," he said.
An economics graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University, Jacinto has businesses in real estate, retail, and manufacturing under the RJ Group of Companies. He also runs a radio station and is a known guitar player.
-with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News