USAID kicks off P1.65-billion digital connectivity project; Resilient Cities project also launched

Published October 31, 2021, 2:48 PM

by Betheena Unite

A five-year project that will increase the digital connectivity in the Philippines was recently launched by the US government.

United States Agency for International Development in the Philippines (USAID)

Through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) was launched on Thursday, Oct. 28, the US Embassy in the Philippines said.

It is a P1.65-billion project that will promote economic growth through better information and communications technology (ICT), helping bridge the digital divide in the Philippines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for expanded digital infrastructure and broadband connectivity,” said USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Sean Callahan.

“We are pleased to partner with the Philippine government, private sector, and other organizations to accelerate the country’s economic growth and regional competitiveness by supporting a stronger, more competitive digital ecosystem,” Callahan.

Under the BEACON project, USAID will help improve the Philippines’ ICT and logistics infrastructure; strengthen the regulatory, business, and innovation environment; and bolster cybersecurity.

To help bridge the digital divide in the Philippines, BEACON will assist the government in automation and digitization efforts, and support community networks to expand low-cost internet access for underserved communities.

“BEACON supports the Philippines’ national strategies and the U.S. government’s goal to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region through enhanced digital connectivity,” the USAID said.

On the same day, a five-year project that will help the country become a more climate resilient was also launched by the USAID.

It is a P750-million Climate Resilient Cities project that aims to help cities in the country–which is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries– adapt to, mitigate, and endure the impacts of climate change by increasing their access to climate financing and tools to build resilience.