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DTI-BOI: Two ‘hyperscalers’ from US, China to enter Philippines

The Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) on Wednesday said at least two “hyperscalers” are expected to enter the Philippines this year.

Hyperscalers are global technology companies providing cloud and internet-based services, which require huge amounts of space, power and connectivity in regions they expand in, to allow rapid IT scaling that will support their massive customer base and user demand surges.

During the virtual Philippines: The Next Strategic Hyperscaler Hub in Asia Pacific media launch, DTI Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the agency is “currently, we are in discussions with hyperscalers from US and from China.”

He did not identify the companies, but said discussions already range from “exploratory to advance.”

“I’m pretty sure that within this year we could have at least one Chinese hyperscaler and at least one US hyperscaler,” Rodolfo said.

“Within this year, at least we can have two hyperscalers coming to the Philippines,” he said.

The DTI-BOI official said the hyperscaler firms are looking at the country’s green energy market here as their main driver.

“They’re also looking at the data privacy regulatory framework for the Philippines,” Rodolfo said.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, for his part, emphasized the Philippines’ potential as a prime location for hyperscaler firms since the country’s population is digital savvy.

“The immense potential of [the Philippines] is increasing. The Philippines ranked 6th in Facebook, 10th in YouTube, 11th in Twitter, and 18th in Instagram in terms of social media use globally,” Lopez said.

“After being widely recognized as the outsourcing capital of the world, this is the natural next step for the Philippines, as our country now has all the necessary elements in place to make this happen. We have a thriving digital economy and a good economic profile. The digital readiness of our enterprises is helping propel our economic growth even further,” the DTI chief said.

Meanwhile, during the event, ePLDT president & CEO and senior vice president and head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez reiterated the PLDT Group’s resolve to boost the country’s digital infrastructure for global tech companies seeking for expansion amid the fast-growing demand for digital and data services.

“In the midst of a digital revolution, we at the PLDT Group ensure our unbreakable support and commitment to help bring the Philippines’s digital infrastructure to the next level. With the private and public sectors’ cooperation in driving our digital ecosystems to greater heights, we are confident that we are ready to open up our country as the next destination for hyperscalers,” Hernandez said.

Joining DTI-BOI and PLDT Enterprise are the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Meralco, which will aid the ramping up of programs demonstrating the country’s digital economy and infrastructure capabilities.

“The DICT expresses its utmost commitment to improving telecommunications and internet service in the country to create a more conducive and thriving business environment. This will allow our investors and telcos to take bold steps in providing internet connectivity and improving the quality of ICT services in the Philippines,” DICT Secretary Gringo Honasan said.

Meanwhile, DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas and Meralco Group Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond Ravelo expressed their equal participation in the initiative and discussed the sustainability and renewable energy investments of both public and private sector to cater to the hyperscaler market.

“The DOE has been relentless in revolutionizing the country's energy landscape to transform the Philippines into a haven for energy investments. We have been proactively pursuing policies and programs that will help us gain energy security and socioeconomic growth against the backdrop of a sustainable competitive energy future for the coming generation,” Posadas said.

“With the identification of the hyperscalers industry as one of our country's newest and most strategic growth sectors, we fully support the move to make the Philippines a regional leader in the space. We, in Meralco, recognize the role we play to spur and support the growth of hyperscalers by delivering not only reliable, and high quality energy, but also as we say earth friendly power,” Ravelo said.

The collaboration between the public-private sector aims to continuously increase the country’s attractiveness and bring out the Philippines’ capabilities as an emerging market for more global hyperscalers. --NB, GMA News