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PBBM inaugurates BOI-registered submarine cable project

PBBM inaugurates submarine cable project
Making faster internet speed happen in the Philippines: President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. (middle) led the lighting-up ceremony for the Express Route of the InfiniVAN-initiated Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) in Makati City on February 15, 2024.

By DTI-Board of Investments
February 20, 2024

MAKATI CITY – Japan stands as a cornerstone of foreign direct investments (FDI) for the Philippines and tangible outcomes are now seen following President Marcos' recent visit to Japan to further solidify both countries’ vital economic partnership.

On February 15, 2024, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. spearheaded the lighting-up ceremony for the Express Route of the InfiniVAN-initiated Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN). Emphasizing the crucial role of private sector collaboration, President Marcos articulated in his address the significance of ensuring the provision of "reliable and affordable internet services" to the Filipino people.

40% Japanese-owned InfiniVAN registered P649 million of its Visayas and Mindanao network rollout – an integral part of which is some of its investment in the domestic subsea submarine cable project – with the Board of Investments (BOI) which was approved last December 2023.

“I congratulate InfiniVAN for this truly innovative project, as it can help open opportunities in various regions in the country and can provide faster internet for the Filipino people. This is a testament that investments from the foreign trips of the President are coming to fruition. Rest assured that there are many projects in the pipeline that will boost the country’s economy and provide employment for Filipinos,” BOI Chairman and DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

The company has already activated its service in the following key areas in the country: Iloilo, Bacolod, Boracay, Caticlan, Pinamalayan, Surigao, Palanas, Bulan, and Placer.

Koji Miyashita, Chairman of InfiniVAN Inc., said, “we started our telecom business here in 2015 before the amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) took effect, foreign restrictions notwithstanding. We were convinced then, and more so now, that introducing healthy competition in the telecom industry will encourage more foreign infrastructure investments in the sector, improve quality of service, and bring service prices down to more reasonable levels. The completion of our PDSCN project reaffirms our conviction and is a testament that ‘coopetition’ works, having done it with erstwhile competitors Eastern and Globe Telecom."

“With the amended PSA taking effect, we have lined up additional investments in fiber optic backbone infrastructure along toll roads, PNR routes and the Metro Manila Subway Project among others. We are also looking into building new submarine cable landing stations for international cables as well as facilitating the launch of a Philippine flagship satellite,” Miyashita added.

InfiniVAN’s PDSCN, a new neutral fiber network infrastructure co-built with two other telecom carriers, boasts substantial capacity to accommodate the data and internet traffic needs of each island. In particular, the domestic submarine cable spans approximately 2,500 km, connecting Visayas and Mindanao to mainland Luzon through multiple landing points and terrestrial fiber optic links.

Notably, President Marcos recognized the contribution of Japan in making the said project possible. “It is also a testament not only to Japanese ingenuity and technological advancement that we strive to emulate but also to the strong bonds of friendship that connect our two countries forever,” said President Marcos in his speech.

Based on the report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the biggest source of net FDI flows from January to November 2023 was Japan with USD667.58 million. Japan is followed by Singapore (USD158.88 million), Germany (USD149.80 million), and the United States (USD110.8 million).

The future looks promising for the Philippines in terms of foreign investments, as proven by high reinvested earnings and increasing foreign investment approvals by BOI and other investment promotion agencies (IPAs). By building on the momentum, the Philippines has a promising prospect as an investment hub in Asia for foreign companies.