Investments in the country’s ICT sector have been surging this year to levels never before seen, and such magnitude is expected to continue in the years to come, according to Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary for operations Eliseo Rio.
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Huge influx of investments in ICT sector seen
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine is expected to become a recipient of a huge amount of investments in the information and communication (ICT) sector as efforts to improve the country’s telecommunication services and internet connectivity intensify.

Investments in the country’s ICT sector have been surging this year to levels never before seen, and such magnitude is expected to continue in the years to come, according to Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary for operations Eliseo Rio.

“This is the first time in our history that the ICT sector became the top investment contributor in our country,” Rio told The STAR.

Rio said third telecommunications player Dito Telecommunity Corp., a partnership between the group of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and state-owned China Telecom, has committed to invest P275 billion for its network rollout until 2024.

“Consider also the massive investments now being poured by Globe and Smart, around P120 billion a year combined, due to the competition with the third telco,” he said.

Aside from the telcos, Rio said common tower providers are also set to pour in about $3.4 billion for the construction of at least 50,000 cell sites nationwide in the next seven years.

He said passive telecommunication infrastructure other than towers like fiber optic cables, cable landing stations, submarine fiber optic cables and outside plants would easily contribute around P100 billion in investment  yearly until 2022.

Data from the Board of Investments (BOI) showed that investments in the ICT sector emerged as the largest contributor in first eight months of the year as it skyrocketed to P308.8 billion from just P340 million in the same period last year.

Among the ICT projects approved were the infrastructure project of ISOC Asia Telecom Towers that would build 25,000 cellular towers totaling P141.1 billion and the three-phase project of Philippines Fiber Optic Cable Network covering around 60,000 kilometers for an aggregate cost of P134.5 billion.

“More than half of the total investments approved by the BOI by Aug. 31 was contributed by the ICT sector alone. This is because of the aggressive actions of the DICT in paving the way for the third telco and in pushing for its common towers and other passive telecommunication infrastructure program,” Rio said.

“All these ICT investments will bear fruit by year 2020, part of DICT’s Vision 2020, which is to greatly improve telecommunication services in the country that will be felt by our people before the end of year 2020,” he said.

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