Aboitiz group says digital connectivity needed to hasten pandemic recovery


Posted at Aug 03 2020 06:28 PM

MANILA - The Aboitiz Group said the country needs to upgrade its digital infrastructure to help hasten the Philippines' economic recovery due to the effects of COVID-19.

“Online tools and digitally-enabled platforms should be accessible to businesses and individuals to operate and work in a post-COVID environment,” said Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer Sabin Aboitiz.

This was in support of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council Philippines’ (ABAC PH) recommendation to adopt a digital transformation approach to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

“We need to fast track building the infrastructure to establish the digital highways that would interconnect the Philippines’ 7,100 islands. This is critical to stimulate our local industries and create the scale in order to fully engage in international trade and be part of global value chains,” said ABAC PH Chair Tomas Alcantara.

ABAC PH noted "government interventions should integrate digital technologies to provide innovative solutions in facilitating ease of doing business," it said as this will improve productivity and efficiency in programs such as financial inclusion, adaptive learning and training.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called on the country’s two major telcos to improve their services before the end of the year.

Telcos meanwhile blamed the lengthy process of securing permits to build telco towers as one of the main reasons behind the country’s slow internet speeds.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in July said it signed a joint memorandum circular with several other departments and line agencies to streamline requirements and reduce delays in securing needed documents for the construction of cell towers meant to be shared by different telcos.