The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector became the top investment contributor in the Philippines with an outstanding increase from PHP 340 million (US$ 6.6 million) last year to PHP 308.8 billion (US$ 6 billion).
According to a recent press release, the ICT sector surged to the top of the Board of Investments (BOI) approvals.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary for Operations Eliseo M. Rio, Jr shared that this is the first time in the history of the country that the sector became a top investment contributor.
Investments in ICT
The massive increase can be attributed partly to the entry of a third major player in the Philippine telecommunications market.
This major player had committed to invest PHP 275 billion (US$ 5.3 billion) into its rollout in the next five years.
According to the Undersecretary, the healthy competition that was fostered between the major telco players had translated into substantial investment by the two incumbent telecoms, which amounted to a combined PHP 120 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) annually.
Additionally, the Undersecretary claimed that common tower providers are also seen to have poured in an investment of PHP 3.4 billion worth of dollar investments for the rollout of 50,000 target cellular sites across the country in the next seven years.
Similar passive telecommunication infrastructure such as fibre optic cables, cable landing stations, submarine fibre optic cables and outside plants will contribute an annual influx of PHP 100 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) until 2022.
By 31 August 2019, more than half of the total investments approved by the BOI were contributed by the ICT sector alone.
This can be attributed to the aggressive actions of the Department in paving the way for the third telco as well as pushing for its common towers and other passive telecommunication infrastructure program.
All these ICT investments will bear fruit by the year 2020. This is part of the DICT’s Vision 2020, which is to greatly improve telecommunication services in the country that will be felt by the people before the end of the year 2020.
The total BOI-approved investments ballooned to PHP 609.04 billion (US$ 11.7 billion) by August this year. Data showed that 98% of these investments are generated from outside the Metro.
The surge of investment in the ICT sector is a good indicator of progress as the government strengthens its efforts to improve telecommunication services and internet connectivity in the country.
Board of Investments
The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Agency that is responsible for domestic and foreign investment promotion in the country.
It acts in an advisory, actual and service capacity to businesses through the development and promotion of various industries.