Singapore’s P30-B fiber optic cable network project gets pioneer tax incentives

The Board of Investments has granted pioneer tax incentives to the P30.6576 billion project of Philippines Fiber Optic Cable Network (PFOCN), a Singaporean company, which is expected to spur the country’s telecommunications sector. 

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez announced the investment at the 2nd Philippine-Singapore Business and Investment Summit organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) that these sectors are under the DTI’s REBUILD strategy.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO FILE PHOTO)

According to Lopez, the BOI last year approved on pioneer status the PFOCN Corp. (0.00003% Filipino, 99.99995% Singapore, 0.00002% Chinese-owned), which is licensed to do business in the Philippines to engage in the installation, maintenance, sale and lease of optical dark fiber network, as well as other related activities.

“This project was granted pioneering status by the agency and is considered the single most extensive cable network project in the Philippines to date,” said Lopez.

Under a pioneer status, the Singaporean firm will be entitled to six-year income tax holiday incentive, among other incentives granted by the government.

PFOCN is an accredited service provider of DITO Telecommunity Corporation (DITO) to implement its telecommunications projects.

As a new operator of telecommunications infrastructure under the Infrastructure and Logistics list of the Investment Priorities Plan, PFOCN will install 60,000 route kilometer  fiber optic cable that  will support communications operators in launching innovative technologies such as 5G network, cloud service, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI services at more affordable prices to Filipinos and Philippine-based companies.

Lopez noted that Singapore continued to be one of Philippines biggest trading partners and investors. Last year, Singapore was the Philippines’ 6th major trading partner, 5th export market, and 6th import supplier. 

On the investment side, Singapore last year ranked as Philippines 4th top source of investments, with approved pledges amounting to P9.99 billion or $201.37 million. Compared to 2019 when Singapore ranked first, investment pledges from Singapore notably decreased last year because of global uncertainties.