The provision of faster, more accessible, and cheaper internet connection is the initial step in the country’s digital transformation, according to Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Salalima said this during the second day of the Philippine i-CiTY Summit held on 13-14 March 2017.

DICT officials headed by Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima (center) were given plaque of appreciation during the PH i-CiTY Summit 2017

Salalima emphasized the importance of ICT infostructure in raising the digital economy of the country. He said that to become a smart city, information should be made available to the citizens; advanced technology should be integrated with the country’s communications system; and government should collaborate with industries to lower services cost and open more job opportunities for the people.

The vision of the i-CiTY to promote better living conditions for every Filipino and a more globally competitive Philippines through digital services is in line with the objective of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). DICT Undersecretary Denis F. Villorente said the NBP envisions a “resilient, comfortable, and vibrant life for all, enabled by open, pervasive, inclusive, affordable, and trusted broadband internet access.” According to Villorente, the NBP will focus on policy and regulatory reforms and establishment of broadband infrastructure.

Undersecretary Denis F. Villorente speaks on the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

The broadband plan will also facilitate entry of new players including foreign partners, fast track permit processing, improve internet cost versus speed ratio, and build more cell sites, among others.

“Broadband connectivity is the foundation of an innovated city, but we also need to work on the sustainability of urban infrastructure, the automation of mobile facilities, and the management of transport system in the country,” said Benjamin Azada of PwC in his discussion about the Global Connectivity Index.

Representatives from the government and private institutions attended the two-day Summit held at the Isla Ballroom, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Mandaluyong City. The i-CiTY Summit 2017 was the first of its kind in the Philippines. It was co-hosted by the DICT and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in partnership with Huawei Technologies Philippines, Inc., SAP, Hexagon, IHS, Pacific Disaster Center, PwC, Indonesia FTTH Association, Roland Berger, Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Delaware Consulting.

The i-CiTY is an operational framework supporting collaboration across government agencies and private organizations that aims for “A safer and Better Connected Philippines.”