NEDA want more private sector investments in recovery program

Published February 9, 2021, 3:03 PM

by MB Business

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said that private sector investments that will push business expansion in digital transformation, education continuity, food resilience, and health, will be supported by the government to boost economic recovery.

In a statement during a recent online press conference, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said, “We want the private sector to have more investments in these areas.”

Edillon said that solutions for digitalization and learning continuity will support business continuity and distance learning amid the prolonged lockdown.

Edillon pointed out that the government will identity investments to support in these sectors, 

According to Globe Telecom President Ernest Cu capital expenditures for 2020 will reach P70 billion for the building of 2,000 new sites and faster fiber roll-out to address home connectivity for the largely underserved market. More areas will have high speed 4G LTE and 5G technologies and better internet services.

Smart Communications has committed to expand their fiber footprint and wireless coverage to address increasing demand allocating up P88 billion to P98 billion capex in 2021.

In a statement, Consumer group Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuryente (BK3) called for increasing public investments for digital transformation and telecommunications infrastructure as a priority to address the economic shock of the people.

BK3 Lead Convenor Louie Montemar in a released statement said, “Even ordinary consumers must now depend on digital technologies to survive the daily burdens caused by non-contact safety protocols.”

“Our smart phones have become indispensable to for communication, business transactions, medical emergencies, education, and personal activities,” Montemar said.

In a separate statement, CitizenWatch Philippines Lead Convenor Orlando Oxales said, “Aggressive investments already being done by the private telecommunications companies to expand and improve internet service will accelerate rapidly if government steps in to build a nationwide broadband backbone that will integrate with tower and fiber networks of private telcos.”

“Hence, it makes sense for government to allocate enough funding to at least operationalize the existing fiber network in the NGCP’s power transmission infrastructure and link-up with existing networks of private telcos,” Oxales said.

The data in the November 2020 report of TowerXchange show that Thailand has 52,483 telecommunications towers while Vietnam has 90,000. This is over 5 times the 17,850 cell towers in the Philippines. 

Vietnam has only 756 users per tower and Thailand 991 compared to 4,090 users per tower in the Philippines resulting in intermittent and slower services due to high congestion.