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Chambers of commerce, groups support the adoption of the bill on data transmission


Several chambers and foreign business groups have called for the immediate passage of a bill that should boost broadband services across the country.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, private sector organizations called for the forthcoming adoption of the open access in data transmission bill. It seeks to develop more broadband infrastructure by attracting more companies to invest in the data transmission and broadband industry.

The signatories congratulated the House of Representatives on approving House Bill 8910 at third and final reading.

Following this, they called on the Senate to start tackling the same measure. The bill currently pending in the science and technology committee of the upper house.

Business groups stressed the importance of fostering “economic recovery and more competition and investment in broadband, especially in underserved areas of the Philippines.”

“The country’s digital infrastructure lags behind the infrastructure of competing countries in the region,” they said. Citing a report, the statement noted that the Philippines lags behind Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam due to its “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,” they stressed.

As such, these can help improve jobs, education, finance, governance and health, among others, they added.

Private sector groups noted that passing the bill would provide a competitive policy and regulatory framework, lowering barriers and lowering costs to enter the market.

“This will significantly improve data transmission services [faster Internet speed and lower Internet costs] across the country, ”the statement said.

The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce, 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 and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines have signed the declaration.

Other signatories include the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., the Management Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Multinational Corporations Regional Headquarters Inc., Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. and US-Asean Business Council.