Isko says P45B needed to improve internet in the Philippines

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2021 05:32 PM

Isko Moreno Domagoso via George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Manila Mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso speaks to the audience during a “listening tour” in Binangonan, Rizal on November 23, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

BINANGONAN, Rizal - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday said he would invest P45 billion in government funds to improve internet speeds and connection in the Philippines should he win the 2022 presidential race.

A Domagoso administration will reallocate 10 percent of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) budget to fund this program, the Manila mayor said during his “listening tour” in Binangonan, Rizal.

“The speed of connection will be competitive,” he said.

“The return of this will create more jobs, more businesses, more communities,” he said.

Under Domagoso’s proposal, fiber optic cables would be laid down nationwide to digitally connect all provinces "from Batanes to Tawi-tawi."

"First things first: the foundation of communication, kailangan natin doon mag-invest heavily (we need to invest in that heavily)," he said.

"It's [going to be] high speed dahil fiber optic, hindi yung mema, mema-kabit lang, mema-connect lang (this is not just about having mediocre connections)."

The program will be the prelude to building not just smart cities but a "smart country," the Mayor said.

"What we did in Manila can be done in far-flung areas," he said referring to automated payment schemes and systems in the local government of the capital city.

"We can be a smart country. We can also be competitive and I hope someday, somehow, we can also reach the moon," he said.

The Philippines’ average mobile download speed is at 32.84 Mbps, while the average download speed for fixed broadbands in the country is at 66.55 Mbps, according to the Ookla 2021 Speedtest Global Index.

During his 5th State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte urged telco providers to improve connectivity or face closure or expropriation. 

Both Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc have been investing in infrastructure and ramping up their 5G rollout, while DITO is still preparing its network for its second year audit. 

Converge ICT is widening its backbone in the Visayas and Mindanao to power 55 percent of residential homes in the country by 2025. 

The promise to improve internet connection and speed in the country is Domagoso's fourth campaign platform.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer earlier pledged to halve taxes on fuel and electricity, offer a menu for the spending of additional funds for local governments, and implement a moratorium on the conversion of farmlands should he win the presidency next year.

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