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Thursday, May 30, 2024

PSAC crafts strategies to create 1m digital jobs, enhance connectivity

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The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) presented a strategic proposal to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to enhance internet connectivity and create a million digital jobs to advance the Philippines’ digital infrastructure.

PSAC said in a statement a significant development from the meeting is advancing the 10,000 Digital Civil Servants project.

It said an imminent memorandum of agreement (MOA) with partners, including the Civil Service Commission, Private Sector Jobs & Skills Corp (PCORP) and leading enterprises like Ayala, SM Group, National University and Mapua would kickstart the initiative.

The project will begin with a foundational training of 40 participants in Singapore, who will lead a larger training cohort in the Philippines, significantly boosting the capabilities of the government’s digital services.

President Marcos directed a strategic focus on creating one million digital jobs by 2028, aligning these opportunities with the evolving needs of the labor market.

He advocated for a presidential directive to empower the Inter-Agency Council for Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, which will spearhead public-private partnerships essential for targeted skills development and training programs.

The President prioritized expanding connectivity in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), supporting infrastructure development to bridge digital divides.

Efforts by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) aim to streamline the permitting processes and reduce bureaucratic delays in deploying telecommunications infrastructure.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla introduced a security and rationalization program for protecting submarine cables and transmission lines, which is crucial for ensuring uninterrupted digital connectivity, especially in regions prone to land reclamation activities.

PSAC said moving forward, it would develop a detailed proposal for nationwide, meaningful digital connectivity following a commercial agreement model to facilitate the construction and establishment of needed infrastructure.

The initiative is set to provide widespread and reliable digital access, laying the groundwork for inclusive growth, and sustained digital engagement across the Philippines.

“With these government-endorsed initiatives, we are set to transform the Philippine digital infrastructure, ensuring competitiveness in the global digital economy and fostering digital inclusivity for all Filipinos,” said Henry Aguda, PSAC digital infrastructure sector lead and UnionDigital president and chief executive.

Aguda thanked DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos for his vital role in implementing Executive Order 32, which streamlines the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure permitting process. He highlighted the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s (ARTA) crucial involvement in this effort.

“Secretary Aballos’s collaboration with ARTA has significantly accelerated our national digital infrastructure rollout, advancing us towards nationwide connectivity,” Aguda said.

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