Several foreign chambers and business groups called for the immediate passage of a bill that is expected to boost broadband services across the country.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, private sector organizations urged the enactment of the Open Access in Data Transmission bill soon. It seeks to build up more broadband infrastructure by attracting more firms to invest in the data transmission and broadband industry.
The signatories commended the House of Representative for the approval of House Bill 8910 on third and final reading.
Following this, they called on the Senate to begin tackling the same measure. The bill currently pending at the upper chamber’s Science and Technology Committee.
The business groups stressed that it is important to foster “economic recovery and more competition and investment in broadband, especially in underserved areas throughout the Philippines.”
“Digital infrastructure in the country lags behind infrastructure in competing countries in the region,” they said. Citing a report, the statement noted that the Philippines is behind Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam because of its “less robust and competitive digital infrastructure.”
“One major lesson of the ongoing pandemic is that developing competitive digital infrastructure is essential for better lives for everyone in the Philippines and certainly critical for investment, particularly foreign investments,” they stressed.
As such, these can help usher in better employment, education, finance, governance and health, among others, they added.
The private sector groups noted that the passage of the said bill would provide a competitive policy and regulatory framework, lowering the barriers and costs of market entry.
“This will significantly improves data transmission services [faster Internet speed and lower Internet costs] throughout the country,” the statement read.
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines signed the statement.
Other signatories include the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc., Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. and US-Asean Business Council.