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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Need to pass Open Access in Data Transmission measure

Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce hopes for the passage of the Open Access in Data Transmission bill

MANILA – The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) hopes Congress will pass the Open Access in Data Transmission bill during the Third Regular Session.

The seven members of the JTF said the legislation will bridge critical gaps in broadband infrastructure by attracting more firms to invest in the data transmission and broadband sector.

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 8910 on second reading and is expected to approve on 3rd reading at the resumption of their session. The Senate counterpart measure remains pending at the Science and Technology committee.

The JFC hopes any mention of the Open Access bill in the SONA scheduled on Monday, July 26 and recommends that the measure be certified urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte to underscore its importance to economic recovery and more competition and investment in broadband, particularly in underserved areas across the Philippines.

Digital infrastructure in the country is not as good as infrastructure in competing countries in the region. According to World Economic Forum ratings, the Philippines is usually behind Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and increasingly behind Vietnam indicate the Philippines has less robust and competitive digital infrastructure.

One major lesson of the ongoing pandemic is that developing competitive digital infrastructure is a must for better lives for everyone in the country and definitely critical for investment particularly foreign investment. Better education, employment, finance, governance, health, and a host of other essential activities of a strong economy will be assured.

They said they welcome the support of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and its Financial Inclusion Steering Committee and the National Economic Development Authority.

Should the measure be passed into law, the Open Access bill will provide competitive policy and regulatory framework that lowers the barriers and cost to enter into data transmission market. This will significantly improve data transmission services (faster internet sped and lower internet costs) nationwide.

The JTF members include the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canada Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. (Melo MN. Acuna)

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