THE US EMBASSY in Manila, through the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), awarded P23.8 million in grant money to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to fund technical assistance in implementing the National Broadband Network Project.
“This grant supports the Philippine government’s goal of improving connectivity across the country and transitioning towards a digital economy,” US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said in a statement on Thursday.
“The US is a strong friend, partner, and ally of the Philippines, and I am proud to expand our partnership in technology and communications,” according to Mr. Kim.
The government’s National Broadband Network Project aims to strengthen Internet connectivity particularly in rural areas.
The grant covers the selection of advisors from US firms by the DICT to assist in refining technical and operational designs, evaluating future market demand, and preparing the documentation requirements for financing and implementing the project.
According to the USTDA, the grant “will expand opportunities for US companies to deliver innovative technologies and solutions in the Philippines market.”
“This grant demonstrates USTDA’s commitment to supporting the development of quality information and communications infrastructure and broadband capabilities in the Philippines.”
In August, US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh said that US can further develop its ties with the Philippines by helping out in building the latter’s infrastructure.
“We want the Philippine government to know there are many alternatives we’re looking to fulfil the infrastructure needs. We certainly hope that you would look to the United States as a very positive alternative. That its very much in your interest to explore,” Ms. Singh told an American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. meeting. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio