Korea funds PH broadband, other digital transformation programs

Published May 28, 2022, 8:56 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

South Korea has expressed support to fund projects that will usher in the Philippines’ digital transformation through infrastructure, digital economy, and developing e-skilled individuals.

South Korea renews its commitment to continuing its partnership with the Philippines in promoting digital transformation in every sector including e-skill education and training, IT infrastructure, and the digital economy. (PIXABAY)

“Korea will continue to partner with the Philippines in promoting digital transformation in every sector, including e-skill education and training, IT (information technology) infrastructure, and digital economy,” the South Korean Embassy wrote in a Facebook post.

In the same post, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines said South Korea, in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is part of a study expanding the broadband infrastructure in Luzon.

The Embassy said South Korea is currently conducting a $550,000 feasibility study for expanding the National Broadband Infrastructure in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, MIMAROPA, and Bicol.

South Korea will likewise support the financing of a $130-million project to install broadband lines and telecommunication equipment in the said areas.

“This broadband expansion project will increase Filipino households’ wired internet connection to schools, hospitals, and local government agencies,” the Embassy wrote.

In May 2019, South Korea ranks first in the world for mobile download speed according to Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index with a mean download speed of 76.74 following the launch of 5G services in April of the same year.

Aside from this, South Korea, through KOICA and K-EXIM Bank, is contributing $50 million to projects to install an e-invoicing system in partnership with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Finance (DOF).

According to the Embassy, this e-invoicing system will contribute to streamlining business processes and maximizing the usability of sales information.

“This system will help build a digital economy-friendly environment in the Philippines,” it said.

Meanwhile, South Korea renewed its commitment to promoting the Philippines’ digital transformation through e-skill education and training.

In 2005, the Korea-Philippines IT Training Center was built in Quezon City to provide Filipino students with various IT programs, including database training, basic computer literacy, and computer hardware service management.

In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, 698 students were enrolled, 687 had graduated, and 405 students were employed.