THE DEPARTMENT of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Tuesday said it expects a fivefold increase in the capacity of data centers in the country, reaching approximately 300 megawatts (MW) by the year 2025.

“We are seeing that today more and more data is actually being generated, [and] we are expecting a rapid increase in the capacity of data centers,” DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy told reporters.

“In fact, in the next two years, we project at least a (five times) increase in data center capacity within the country,” he added.

With the rise of digital transformation and the increasing reliance on cloud-based services, data centers play a crucial role in facilitating efficient and secure data management.

Mr. Uy said that recent conversations with the telecommunication companies and the department’s private sector partners have indicated that they are in the process of constructing additional data centers.

“Most of these are more than 100 megawatts of capacity in the next two years, and when we compare it to what our current capacity is, it’s about five times of our current capacity,” he said.

At present, the total data center capacity nationwide is 60 MW, according to Mr. Uy. The expectation of increasing it to 300 MW is still a conservative target, he added.

“There are others that are indicating that they may even put in some more depending on the progress of our economy and the investments that are coming in, especially the hyperscalers,” he said.

Mr. Uy said that his bullish outlook for the data center industry stems from the demand of hyperscalers positioning themselves in the Philippines.

“Hyperscalers are really looking at the Philippines being an ideal location for them to host it.”

In May, a joint venture between Globe Telecom, Inc., Ayala Corp., and the local unit of Singapore-based service provider ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) unveiled a plan for a 124-MW data center.

The new facility will be constructed in Fairview, Quezon City, with an initial capacity of 28 MW. It is expected to go live by the first quarter of 2025.

STT GDC Philippines also announced in June its plan to expand its data centers in Makati, Cavite, and Quezon City by 5.2 MW.

Earlier this year, PLDT Inc., through its data center arm ePLDT, Inc., unveiled plans to increase the capacity of its data center in Makati by 12 MW.

The company also disclosed its intention to build its 11th data center in the Philippines, set to rise on a 5-hectare lot in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Named VITRO Sta. Rosa, the new data center will have an initial capacity of 14 MW by early 2024, with plans to increase to 50 MW once fully operational.

Last month, the company also announced its plan to build its 12th data center, boasting a power capacity of 100 MW.

“Once these large data centers are deployed, a lot of the data will be stored there and what will now be the engine that will drive all this will be AI,” DICT’s Mr. Uy said.

“As we use more AI in any of our applications, that engine — AI — will now be fueled by all this data and we will be able to cater to our foreign clients in the business process outsourcing community and at the same time provide good data for governance.”

Mr. Uy added that the additional capacity will also support the integrated e-government platform, enabling government agencies to make data-driven decisions.

The DICT has signed a memorandum of understanding for e-governance with 37 government agencies. This move is expected to strengthen collaboration and facilitate knowledge-sharing in developing interoperable systems and programs. — Justine Irish D. Tabile