DICT eyes PPP mode for broadband plan

September 12, 2017 at 11:02

DICT eyes PPP mode for broadband plan

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is looking at using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode for the implementation of a component of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

PPP Center executive director Ferdinand Pecson told reporters on the sidelines of the 2nd Annual Philippines Energy & Infrastructure Finance Forum organized by Euromoney the DICT has applied for the Project Development Monitoring Facility (PDMF) of the PPP Center.

“They just signified intention to tap into the facility so that the feasibility study could be done through this facility,” he said.

The PDMF is a revolving facility which government agencies can tap for funding preparation of projects.

Pecson said the DICT’s application with the PDMF is for the component of the NBP which involves installation of cellular towers in parts of the country currently not reached by telcos such as PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.

President Duterte approved the NBP last March.

The NBP, which serves as the blueprint for broadband infrastructure to interconnect government offices in the country and for providing internet access to individuals particularly in areas currently not served by telcos, is among the directives of the President to the DICT.

Earlier, DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente said the department needs  to conduct a feasibility study for the details of the blueprint as well as to determine the amount government would need to spend to implement the NBP.

While the DICT earlier gave a P77.9 billion estimate to implement the NBP, he said the amount could go down if the government could make use of existing fiber assets including the fiber optics network in the transmission grid of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. (NGCP).

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said his department has been holding talks with the NGCP for the matter.

He also said he is hopeful a memorandum of understanding on the use of the fiber optics network could be signed with the NGCP within the year.

During the term of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the government was looking to build a national broadband network with China’s ZTE Corp.

The plan was dropped, however, amid corruption issues.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/09/11/1737724/dict-eyes-ppp-mode-broadband-plan

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