By Roy Mabasa
The United States on Thursday awarded a Php 23.8 million grant to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to support the implementation of the Philippines National Broadband Network Project and provide access to the underserved markets throughout the country.
Issued through the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the grant was signed by US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim and DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio in a ceremony in Quezon City.
In a statement, the US Embassy said the advisors, who will be selected by DICT from qualified American firms, will assist DICT in refining technical and operational designs, assessing future market demand, and preparing documentation required for the financing and implementation of the network.
“The U.S. is a strong friend, partner, and ally of the Philippines, and I am proud to expand our partnership in technology and communications,” Ambassador Kim said, adding that the grant supports the Philippine government’s goal of improving connectivity across the country and transitioning towards a digital economy.
USTDA Acting Director Thomas Hardy explained that his agency links US businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
Hardy added that the grant demonstrates USTDA’s commitment to supporting the development of quality information and communications infrastructure and broadband capabilities in the Philippines.
“At the same time, this project will expand opportunities for U.S. companies to deliver innovative technologies and solutions in the Philippines market,” he said.