BCDA opens bidding for national fiber backbone, prime properties

Published March 9, 2021, 2:27 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has issued an invitation to bid for the design and construction of the first phase of the national fiber backbone to upgrade the country’s digital infrastructure.

In a statement, BCDA said the P1.25-billion contract under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) requires works to be finished in 200 calendar days.

The DICT has six components under the national broadband program: the national fiber optic cable backbone, cable landing stations, accelerated tower build, accelerated fiber build, satellite overlay, and broadband delivery management service.

The Philippines’ internet speed in terms of mobile broadband has slightly improved, overtaking both Malaysia and Myanmar for the first time in a global speed test done in January according to Speedtest Global Index. 

The Philippines’ mobile internet speed went up from 22.50 to 25.77 megabits per second (Mbps), ranking up by 10 notches from 96th to 86th in the worldwide rankings.

Based on the latest global index, the Philippines now ranks 6th in mobile internet speed among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

The Philippines surged on top of Myanmar (25.21 Mbps, 88th worldwide) and Malaysia (23.74 Mbps, 94th), and stayed ahead of Cambodia (19.98 Mbps, 106th) and Indonesia (17.33 Mbps, 121st).

Meantime, the BCDA also announced it is set to offer prime properties in Makati, Bataan, and Baguio for bidding in the second quarter of this year. 

In partnership with the Privatization and Management Office under the Department of Finance (DOF), BCDA is set to formally open the bidding for the 2.29-hectare Mile Long Property in Makati City, a prime lot in the Makati Central Business District. This area is strategically located near the North-South Commuter Railway project that will soon have a dedicated station connecting Buendia in Makati all the way to Clark Airport in 55 minutes via the proposed airport express.
Another property that is being eyed for long-term lease is the Mile-Hi Center in Baguio City, a former retail and commercial strip inside Camp John Hay with a buildable area of 5,380 sqm and an open space measuring more than 2,700 sqm.  

BCDA is also looking for private sector partners to develop an 83.17-hectare area in Bataan Technology Park (BTP) which is located inside Morong Special Economic Zone. This area is highly recommended for mixed-use, light industrial and tourism development, owing to its rich histo-cultural identity as the former site of the Philippine Refugee Processing Center. 

The standard lease terms of 50 years and renewable by 25 years shall apply for the available property in BTP which is also an attractive investment site for residential and institutional developments like universities and hospitals.

There are two registered locators in BTP namely, Equinet and Morong Power Corporation with available utilities and power being provided by PENELCO and BCDA Deepwell to all locators respectively.