DICT, PPP Center team up for digital infra projects
MANILA -The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center of the Philippines inked a memorandum of agreement to support the development of the ICT sector through implementation of PPP projects.
The agreement outlines a framework for collaboration in terms of project assistance, capacity building and crafting of PPP policies and guidelines.
“Catalyzing digital acceleration and bridging the digital divide require tremendous collective effort … Joining forces, we will deploy services that will create more opportunities for Filipinos, to ensure that no one gets left behind,” Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said in a statement.
PPP Center Executive Director Ma. Cynthia Hernandez said the agency was hoping that the “DICT will also extend their assistance to implementing agencies that are developing IT projects and to help them evaluate unsolicited proposals.”
Currently, the PPP Center is working with the DICT in evaluating several PPP project concept notes and proposals.
These include the Fiber-enabled Free Public Internet Access Project; design, build and operate project involving an underground fiber optic conduit network from La Union to Sorsogon; and establishment of government network access in Marinduque and Ilocos Norte.
In a recent forum, Uy raised the need to improve connectivity and cybersecurity at the time of increasing adoption of digital platforms.
“We need to bring connectivity to all mountainous regions, island groups that the telcos have been hesitant in putting up those investments mainly because of economic considerations… so government has to come in and bridge that divide by providing first mover connectivity in those areas,” he said.
Among the initiatives by the DICT is its partnership with Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., a unit of tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to provide satellite-based connectivity in remote areas where land-based infrastructures are a challenge to build.
The National Telecommunications, to recall, announced the approval of Starlink’s registration as an internet service provider last year.
The internet offering, which is expected to be cost effective, targets the underserved and unserved urban, suburban and rural areas.
The government agency is also eyeing to set up free WiFi sites at 9,762 public spaces and 162 state universities, colleges and Technical Education And Skills Development Authority institutions.