PLDT, through its B2B arm PLDT Enterprise, is collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Board of Investments (BOI) as well as with other government agencies to make the Philippines an ideal market destination for hyperscalers in the Asia-Pacific.
The Philippines, currently being promoted as the next hyperscaler hub in the Asia-Pacific, has all the necessary elements to achieve this goal. The country has a thriving digital economy and a good economic profile.
“The country has been credited for ranking high in Internet and data usage. We got demands which need for a bigger infrastructure that could really help lower down the cost. We have the infrastructure, the resources, and the people that are necessary in growing this particular sector,” said Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Lopez also mentioned the number of relatively young and digital-friendly graduates the country is churning out year-on-year which is about 800,000, the bulk of which have taken science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “These are the comparative advantage that we have and hopefully can attract more of the buildup of data center for use by hyperscalers.”
Hyperscalers are global technology firms 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.
According to Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT president and CEO and SVP & Head at PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Group, PLDT is making an unbreakable commitment to continue investing in the most advanced technologies to enhance its infrastructure to the evolving demands of the market, including the emerging industries that they are inviting to set up their operations in the Philippines such as the BPO and recently the global hyperscalers.
For Secretary Gringo Honasan of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), it is their commitment to improve telecommunications and internet services in the country to create a more conducive and thriving business environment. In view of this, the DICT created several initiatives to assist the telco industry in improving connectivity services in the country to serve the surge in demand brought about by the new normal.
Renewable energy also plays a key role in developing hyperscaler market in the Philippines. Senior undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas of the Department of Energy (DOE) said the department has been relentless in revolutionizing the country’s energy landscape to transform the Philippines into a haven for energy investments. He also said that they have been pursuing policies and programs that will help them gain energy security and socio-economic growth against the backdrop of a sustainable competitive energy future for the coming generations.
Meralco, on the other hand, recognizes the role they play to support the growth of hyperscalers by delivering not only reliable and high quality energy but also earth-friendly power. According to Raymond Ravelo, sustainability officer at the Meralco Group and CEO of eSakay, they put sustainability at the top of their corporate agenda and at the core of their business strategy in operation as a company. He mentioned that they crafted their own sustainability agenda which they call “Powering the Good Life,” marked by a distinctive focus on four areas or 4Ps namely, Power, Planet, People, and Prosperity.
Meanwhile, DTI undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo, dislosed that the department is targeting hyperscalers, in particular those who are very conscious in reducing their carbon footprint and also a potential source of co-investment in renewable energy.
“Currently, we are in a discussion with hyperscalers from the US and China. These include Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, including the hyperscalers or those who can come here to co-locate with our providers of data center services,” said Rodolfo.
Rodolfo also said “the discussion ranges from exploratory to advanced. I’m pretty sure that within this year, we could have at least one Chinese hyperscaler and at least one US hyperscaler. We’re looking at green energy market here as the main driver, and also looking at the data privacy regulatory framework for the Philippines.”