Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SBMA, PLDT team up to push Subic’s info, communications tech potential

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—After lagging behind in the race to be a leading player in the country’s growing information and communications technology (ICT) industry, the Subic Bay Free Port is now poised to blaze a trail in the knowledge-based sector and catch up with the competition this year.

Armand Arreza, administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said the agency is determined “on having Subic take the path to knowledge-based industries” by teaming up with telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) in various ICT projects in this free port.

“This would put Subic at the frontlines of the country’s information and communications technology sector,” Arreza said in a statement on Thursday.

“With PLDT as partner, the Subic Bay Free Port can now shift from labor-intensive to knowledge-based industries, guided by the emerging trends in the information-technology [IT] sector,” he said.

To seal this partnership, the SBMA and PLDT, along with PLDT subsidiary Subic Telecom (Subictel), are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) sometime this month, Arreza said.

The MOU is expected to pave the way for tripartite collaborative projects that would benefit the Subic Bay Free Port’s ICT industry.

Arreza added that the SBMA wanted to ride the anticipated boom in the ICT industry, which some IT analysts said may grow by 30 percent to 35 percent annually, and could generate 1 million new jobs in 2010 alone.

SBMA’s partner Subictel said that the joint effort would basically promote this free port’s emerging IT capabilities and enable Subic to directly compete with leading ICT players like Manila, Cebu, Davao and Laguna.

“We would like to position Subic in the forefront as one of the newest choices when it comes to ICT,” said Subictel president Dennis Magbatoc.

He said the projects would bank on PLDT’s most recent ICT investments here that are worth more than P40 million. The investments are PLDT’s fiber optics cable linking Subic to Manila and the entire Luzon grid, and the P20-million Innovation Laboratory (Innolab) that Subictel unveiled last October.

The Subic Innolab, the fifth of its kind in the country, is designed to highlight Subic Bay’s IT and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as the available and soon-to-be-offered telecoms solutions for business-process outsourcing (BPO) operations, retail and  manufacturing businesses, and even the hotel industry.

Arreza said Subictel’s IT facility, which is located beside Subic’s famous Spanish Gate landmark, has been included in the itinerary for potential investors visiting this former naval base.

“With this one-stop IT center, the SBMA will get to showcase the IT aspect of doing business in Subic, on top of its other strengths, like strategic location, tax and duty-free perks, highly skilled manpower, superb support industries and infrastructure, and a highly secured and tourist-friendly environment,” said Arreza.

He added that when it comes to IT support, the Subic Free Port now “has everything and anything you need,” echoing the “fully loaded” theme of the Innolab facility.

To further encourage knowledge-based industries, Arreza also said the SBMA has approved the shift in Subic’s development program to vertical expansion.

This would allow the construction of tall buildings that could accommodate a full range of BPO and IT-related services like back-office outsourcing, software and games development, engineering design and digital animation Arreza said. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent
Prof Danny Piano, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce President, Councilor Ed Piano, Chairman of Olongapo City Telecom and IT Board, and Hon. Armand Arreza talked about the latest in telecommunications in Olongapo City Subic Bay Freeport.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Reorganize NTC

By: Jester P. Manalastas - People's journal

TWO lawmakers proposed the reorganization of the National Telecommunications Commission to meet the rapid developments in information and communication technologies.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte have filed House Bill 6968 seeking to reorganize and strengthen the powers of the NTC.

Romualdez called for the immediate approval of the bill, saying that governments of other countries have devoted efforts towards the development and management of information systems to streamline and improve efficiency in the delivery of basic services to the people.

Villafuerte said it has become imperative for the government to provide a regulatory environment to develop a viable, adequate, efficient and universal information and communications sector using the best available and affordable technologies.

“Universal access to reliable and affordable services must be ensured and the interest and welfare of both the industry players and the consuming public must be protected,” he said.

Aside from granting the NTC fiscal autonomy, it shall have jurisdiction over all persons and entities engaged in the operation and/or provision of information and communications telecommunications, broadcast, cable TV and other multi-media infrastructure and services.

It shall also have the power to establish standards, specifications, measures, guidelines, rules and regulations that will govern the operations of service providers in the areas of information and communications technology, broadcast, cable TV and other multi-media service providers.

Under the bill, the NTC should establish a rigorous training program which includes the setting up of training center for its personnel to enhance the technical and regulatory competence of the Commission in the monitoring and enforcement of laws, rules and regulations and compliance thereof.

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