Increased investments push growth in PH ICT sector

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector surged to the top of the Board of Investments (BOI) approvals with an outstanding increase of P308.8 billion from P340 million last year.

“This is the first time in our history that the ICT sector became the top investment contributor in our country,” said DICT Undersecretary for Operations Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

Rio attributed the massive increase partly to the entry of a third major player in the Philippine telecommunications market that committed to investing P275 billion into its rollout in the next five years. Rio asserted that the healthy competition fostered among major telco players has translated into substantial investments by the two incumbent telcos, amounting to a combined P120 billion annually.

Rio also claims that common tower providers are also seen to pour in an estimated $3.4 billion investment for the rollout of 50,000 target cellular sites across the country in the next seven years. Similar passive telecommunication infrastructure like fiber optic cables, cable landing stations, submarine fiber optic cables, and outside plants will contribute an annual influx of P100 billion until 2022.

“More than half of the total investments approved by the BOI by August 31 were 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 asserted.

“All these ICT investments will bear fruit by the 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 added.

The total BOI-approved investments ballooned to P609.04 billion by August this year, with data showing 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.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 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.