Hanging in the balance
The country's information and communications technology once again hangs in the balance, global market intelligence firm IDC said on Monday, May 2.
“Over the past two presidential elections, we have seen the country's ICT spending experience differing fates,” IDC noted.
In 2004, the year Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won as president, ICT spending grew 12%. The following years reached a plateau of 5% to 7% ICT spending growth, with 2008 seeing a high of 15% growth.
In 2010, Arroyo's successor, Benigno Aquino III, put a stop on most government projects to implement various checks and balances, resulting in an ICT spending growth of only 5% at the end of 2010.
After a similar 5% to 9% growth in the following two years, 2013 saw 27% growth on the back of government-led projects, fiscal reforms, and anti-corruption measures that led to improvements in the country's international ratings and rankings.
This year, IDC sees that the total ICT spending growth in the country will hover between 8% and 10%. “Barring any major wildcard events such as natural disasters, a worldwide recession, or a political revolution, IDC believes that the country's ICT sector is headed toward a positive ICT outlook at the end of 2016 and beyond,” it noted.
But IDC cautions that such an ICT growth path may be dwarfed by short-sighted and drastic strategies that look only at the immediate six to eight months after the elections.
Thus, IDC recommends the following for the next administration to focus on to further ICT’s growth in the country:
Prioritize the establishment of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
Develop large-scale ICT initiatives
Place a bigger focus on the business process outsourcing industry in the country
Provide greater support to Smart City initiatives
Improve peace and order in the country
Put ICT at the forefront of agenda
IDC further details its “wish list” for the country’s ICT growth in this press statement released Monday.
‘We didn’t leak Duterte’s account’
"[We] are not the source of the documents and information being cited by a vice presidential candidate regarding the alleged bank accounts of a certain presidential candidate," Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officer-in-Charge Vicente Aquino said in a statement Monday.
The statement refers to the documents being cited by vice presidential candidate and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, alleging that presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has an undeclared P227-million ($4.83-million) supposedly kept in a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) account. Trillanes also said the mayor has other bank accounts with P2.4 billion ($51.05 million) worth of transactions made.
The Philippines' Bank Secrecy Law does not allow anyone to look into other’s bank account unless they secured a court order to do so. BPI earlier said it was not the source of the alleged bank documents and it did not breach client confidentiality.
Thus, for all the brouhaha going on six days before the elections, the BSP official said further in his statement, "we assure the Filipino people that the BSP and the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council)... will never allow themselves to be used as a tool for political persecution or harassment, or as an instrument to hamper competition in trade and commerce." – Lynda C. Corpuz