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The Philippines Enhances Digitalisation Efforts in 2024

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In 2024, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Philippines is gearing up for a transformative year, having achieved significant milestones in building a robust ICT ecosystem.

The country’s dedication to ICT development and its overall growth has garnered international attention, with the Board of Investments recording its highest-ever investment approvals at Php1.16 trillion (S$31.32 billion), signalling a 59% increase from 2022.

The ICT sector has been a major contributor to this growth, with approvals amounting to Php96.16 billion (S$2.60 billion). Noteworthy initiatives include a P5.6 billion (S$151.2 million) investment from Japanese telecoms company IPS Incorporated and a P4 billion (S$108 million) public-private partnership with IPS affiliate, Infinivan, to expedite the National Broadband Plan deployment.

Connectivity in rural areas is a key priority, and the DICT’s Broadband ng Masa Programme is spearheading efforts to digitally connect provinces and remote regions. The National Fibre Backbone Phase 1, a groundbreaking initiative, is set to establish a 100 Gbps link-up between Los Angeles and San Fernando, La Union CLS, bringing high-speed internet access to empower communities.

The Free WiFi for All Programme continues to provide essential services in 81 provinces and 1,346 municipalities and cities, with 12,031 sites as of December 2023. For geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, the DICT, in collaboration with private entities, has deployed very small aperture terminals (VSATs) and 800 Starlink terminals, ensuring connectivity with an average speed of 200Mbps.

In the pursuit of a “Bagong Pilipinas,” the government is adopting more efficient ways of providing public services. The eGovPH App, launched in June 2023, streamlines government processes, with 964,775 users benefiting from its accessibility. Partnering with 38 government agencies, the DICT aims to eliminate silos and enhance collaboration.

The app features eLGU for local government services, eTravel for electronic passenger registration, and the digital National ID or PhilSys ID. With 776 LGUs adopting the Business Permit module of the eLGU system, the government is making services more accessible and efficient.

The DICT has also prioritised disaster management through its partnership with the World Food Programme. The Government Emergency Communications System – Mobile Operations Vehicle for Emergencies (GECS-MOVE) project involves six high-tech mobile emergency telecommunication units, enhancing disaster response capabilities.

To fortify the country’s cybersecurity posture, the DICT formulated the National Cybersecurity Plan 2023-2028. This comprehensive framework aims to strengthen cybersecurity policy, protect the state and its people, and enhance cybersecurity workforce capabilities.

The establishment of the National Security Operations Center (NSOC) and the involvement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the National Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT) further enhance threat monitoring and intelligence gathering.

The DICT’s initiatives extend to building a responsive ICT ecosystem. Through the ICT Capacity Development and Management Programme, the department focuses on skill development for local and global ICT industries. A total of 448 ICT capability development activities, covering various topics, have been conducted, resulting in 559 successful examinees.

As the Philippines looks ahead to 2024, the DICT remains at the forefront of driving innovation, ensuring connectivity, and building a digitally empowered nation.

The DICT maintains a leading role in fostering innovation, guaranteeing seamless connectivity, and constructing a nation empowered by digital capabilities. Committed to achieving transformative progress, the DICT stands as a driving force, strategically steering the country toward a technologically advanced future.

With a focus on innovative initiatives and the continuous development of digital infrastructure, the DICT aims to propel the Philippines into a new era of technological advancement, positioning it as a dynamic player in the global digital landscape.

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