Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian reiterated that the government must do all it can to improve the information and communication technology (ICT) competitiveness in the Philippines.

Compared to other Southeast Asian counterparts, Gatchalian pointed out that the Philippines still lags in terms of Internet connectivity due to a lack of network infrastructure.

“The country’s problem right now is we have unreliable and expensive Internet services because there’s not enough competition in the ICT space, and there’s not enough infrastructure to cater to the growing demand of the digital economy,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian urged the government to implement key economic reforms that will attract ICT investments in the country. He proposed the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) that aims to lower barriers and help open up key sectors like telecommunications (telco) to many investors.

He also pointed out that the DITO Telecommunity Corporation, supposedly a significant telco player to offset the duopoly between Globe Telecoms and PLDT/Smart, has yet to roll out its operation.

“Our receptiveness to these changes may very well determine whether we can live up to our true economic potential or remain in the doldrums compared to our next-door neighbors,” Gatchalian added.

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