By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, February 16, 2024; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The Philippines is open to more investments that would improve Internet connectivity in the Philippines, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Thursday.

During the lighting up ceremony of the Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) at The Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City, Marcos acknowledged the private sector’s crucial role in achieving his administration’s vision of a “digitally connected Philippines.”

“With the help of our private sector partners, we continue to pursue measures towards providing the Filipino people with reliable and affordable Internet services, which will enable us to improve our standing in the world in terms of broadband and mobile Internet speed and coverage,” Marcos said.

“I look forward to further collaboration and partnership in different endeavors where we could gain from your experience and your expertise. We are excited to see your many investments that will come to fruition in the near future.”

The government, he said, is committed to promoting ease of doing business in the country to facilitate the establishment of critical infrastructure in telecommunications.

Marcos said the PDSCN is “truly a game changer in the Philippines’ quest to be amongst equals in terms of Internet interconnectivity and digital transformation.”

The PDSCN is an undersea fiber optic backbone network infrastructure spanning more than 2,500 km. that connects the Islands of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao with touch points in 21 provinces, including Quezon up to Zamboanga.

It aims to provide inclusive connectivity across the Philippines, particularly in the underserved and unserved areas.

Marcos said the project, which is the “longest and highest capacity domestic submarine fiber cable network” in the country, is a step closer to reaching his administration’s dream of a “better, brighter, and more connected Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines).”

“Because of this connection, we now find a long-term solution that delivers high-connectivity and high-speed Internet for our people and facilitates the realization of the Bagong Pilipinas that we envision for our country,” he said.

“With this project, we will be able to better position our country as an even more attractive destination for technology-centric businesses, such as hyperscale data centers and AI (Artificial intelligence) computing.”

The President also expressed optimism that the PDSCN would facilitate faster Internet and more efficient digital services to Filipinos, as well as help the government ramp up its efforts to digitalize public data and government services.

The PDSCN is a joint project of Globe Telecom, Eastern Telecom, and InfiniVAN, Inc., in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), to strengthen the country’s digital transformation.

“With the completion of the PDSCN, let me express our excitement and our optimism as we zoom in on faster fiber Internet speeds for Filipinos. I congratulate InfiniVAN and its partners Globe Telecom, and Eastern Telecommunications for making this impressive project a reality,” he said. (PNA)