The Philippine government is allotting a total of some P26 billion (US$526 million) on projects that support its Cyber Corridor program, which seeks to attract investments in the field of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO).

In a statement, the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) several announced several projects under its Medium-Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP).

However, the commission said it has yet to finalize the list of the Cyber Corridor projects including the total amount of all the projects, which it plans to announce soon.

Under the MTPIP agenda, P5.1 billion is intended for the government broadband network; P11.1 billion on ICT education and distance learning; P3.5 billion for Public Access and Postal Program; P3 billion for disaster prevention and preparedness; P4 billion for government mass media and broadcast services; and P221 million for technical assistance projects.

Due to increasing demand for knowledge workers, Sales affirms the need to increase the capability and capacity of the education system.

In order to produce graduates for the knowledge economy, Sales said the Cyber Corridor would focus on the implementation of the National English Proficiency Program being conducted by both the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED); the Distance Learning Program, also by DepEd; and Training for Work Scholarship Project to be implemented by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The Cyber Corridor runs across differed regions nationwide promoted by the government as IT hubs that can deliver BPO services such as call centre work, medical transcription, software development and animation.

Sales noted the Corridor is covered by Fiber Optic Cable Networks from the country’s three “backbone” carriers – 1. PLDT Digital Fiber Optic Cable Network (DFON), and its nationwide Radio Microwave Terrestrial Network; 2. Globe Telecom Fiber Optic Backbone Network (FOBN) and its Nationwide Microwave Radio Network; and 3. Telecphil’s Nationwide Digital Telecommunication Network (NDTN).