DOF urges telco to invest in infra

Published October 26, 2020, 1:32 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The planned telecommunications infrastructure expansion of a fiber internet provider will significantly contribute to the country’s strong economic bounce-back from the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III

During the listing ceremony of Converge ICT Solutions, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III urged the company to continue investing in network improvements to serve more Filipinos, and help the nation quickly transition to the digital-based New Economy. 

“We will count on your company to help us bridge the digital divide as we purposely move forward to a New Economy,” Dominguez during the initiation public offering at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). 

Dominguez, meanwhile, said Converge’s IPO was a “strong vote of confidence in the economy’s capacity to bounce back strongly after the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

 “I encourage Converge to use the proceeds of this public offering to continue investing in network improvements,” the finance chief said.

Dominguez, along with Converge ICT founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy and PSE president-CEO Ramon Monzon led the ringing of the opening bells at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) trading floor in Taguig City to mark the company’s listing on the main board of the bourse.

They were joined by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Emilio Aquino, Converge co-founder and president Grace Uy and PSE chief operating officer Roel Refran at the opening bell ceremony. 

Converge is the second company to publicly list on the stock market this year amid the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, following Merry Mart Consumer Corp. (MMCC)’s IPO last June. 

Dominguez said Converge’s IPO is timely as it will provide the company with the means to rapidly upgrade its equipment and improve its operations at a time of fast-rising demand for digital services. 

 “At this moment, digital technologies have never been more important in our lives. Now, more than ever, we have become heavily reliant on fast and dependable internet services,” Dominguez said. 

At this time when quarantine measures remain in place, he said  the entire nation “relies on services that companies like Converge offer to continue our youth’s education, save enterprises, and retain and create jobs for the Filipino workers.”

The pandemic has also highlighted the need to accelerate the shift to digital and cashless transactions, Dominguez said. 

On the part of the government, it is turning the current crisis into an opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of its processes, with the goals of  drastically cutting red tape, hastening  the delivery of services to the people and curbing corruption, he said. 

Earlier, Dominguez said the government sees a “strong rebound” from the pandemic despite the strong headwinds facing the country and the rest of the world this year. 

He gave this optimistic outlook despite challenges that include the expected contraction of the entire global economy by about 4.4 percent, and the forecast by President Duterte’s economic team that the Philippine economy may shrink by a higher-than-projected 6 percent this year.