The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) expressed optimism that Congress will approve the open access in data transmission bill at its third ordinary session, stressing that the legislation will fill critical gaps in infrastructure. broadband by attracting more companies to invest in the data transmission and broadband sector.
The House of Representatives approved Bill 8910 at second reading and is expected to approve the measure at third reading when the session resumes. However, the Senate’s counterpart bill remains pending before the Science and Technology Committee.
“The JFC eagerly awaits any mention of the open access bill in SONA and recommends that the measure be certified as urgent by the President to underline its importance for economic recovery and more competition and investment in the broadband, especially in underserved areas of the Philippines. . The country’s digital infrastructure is not as good as the infrastructure of competing countries in the region, ”said the JFC.
Pushing for approval of the bill, foreign chambers noted that assessments by the World Economic Forum, where the Philippines is generally behind Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and increasingly behind Vietnam, indicate that the Philippines has a less robust and competitive digital infrastructure.
“A major lesson from the ongoing pandemic is that developing a competitive digital infrastructure is essential for a better life for everyone in the Philippines and certainly essential for investment, especially foreign investment. Better education, jobs, finance, governance, health and a host of other activities essential to a strong economy, ”said JFC.
The seven members of the JFC and eight Filipino groups included Open Access in a list of seventeen bills in the letters sent
recently to President Duterte, President of the Senate Sotto and President Velasco, encouraging passage at the 18th Congress. The bill also gained support from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and its Steering Committee for Financial Inclusion, and the National Economic Development Authority.
Once passed, the Open Access Bill will provide a competitive policy and regulatory framework that will lower barriers and costs to enter the data transmission market. This will significantly improve data transmission services (faster internet speed and lower internet costs) across the country. Without substantial new investment and competition in each of the four “miles” of the broadband industry, recovery from the pandemic will be slower and Filipinos will be less well served than their ASEAN counterparts.
As experts pointed out during a recent Senate webinar, the country has a broadband infrastructure deficit and obstacles in outdated laws are preventing the growth of the Philippine Internet. The “Open Access in Data Transmission Act” is curative law designed to overcome specific legal obstacles and fill this infrastructure gap.
The Open Data Access Bill is introduced in the Senate under Senate Bill 45 (SBN) 45 drafted by Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senator Grace Poe, and SBN 911, authored by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr..
The seven members of the JFC include the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Japanese from the Philippines. , Inc., Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. and Regional Headquarters of the Philippine Association of Multinational Corporations, Inc.
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