Timing is everything, and the time is now; the foundations that will guide the nation’s future are what is built today. This is particularly true with regard to digital infrastructure development, which has the potential to bridge the gaps across the archipelago and provide efficient, life-essential government services to the Filipino people.
Speaking at the recent Philippine Infrastructure Summit on the topic “Reshaping the Philippine infrastructure landscape” Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cosette V. Canilao shared invaluable insights on the future of digital infrastructure development.
“Change can happen very quickly if you have the alignment of the right conditions: a government with political will who is responsive to public and private feedback, a dynamic private sector, and an enabling regulatory environment,” shared Canilao.
“As we look at the Philippines now, there is so much low-hanging fruit for us to harvest, which we at Aboitiz InfraCapital integrated as part of our strategy in the sectors of Transport and Mobility, Water Services, Economic Estates, and Digital Infrastructure. The fourth component of our infrastructure ecosystem comprises not just investments in passive physical connectivity infrastructure such as towers and poles, but also investments in the digitalization of government services,” she added.
This year, the Philippine Infrastructure Summit highlighted the imminent enactment of the proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act, which aims to provide investment incentives and promote infrastructure development. The changing course and expanding industry landscape is well-evident in the field of digital infrastructure, which complements and goes beyond the built environment towards a digitally connected and enabled nation.
In a country as diverse and spread out as the Philippines, a robust digital infrastructure ecosystem with strong e-governance is necessary for inclusive growth. Canilao spoke to a room of industry leaders and stakeholders interested in gaining a deeper understanding and exploring the future of infrastructure development in the Philippines.
“The digital future is within reach, but this is not to say that a good future is guaranteed. In the work of PPPs, some projects are home runs, and some have to be developed in less-than-ideal conditions. But one thing I’ve observed is that, often, the most expensive option is inaction. The true costs are passed on to Filipinos who must make do with poor services for longer,” she added.
Canilao leads and inspires AIC in its commitment to building smart and sustainable infrastructure across its diverse yet interconnected businesses, ultimately serving as a catalyst for economic and social growth.
Canilao earlier joined an esteemed group of panelists at The Asset’s Philippine Summit last November 20 to discuss the role of infrastructure in paving the way for sustainable growth in the country.
About Aboitiz InfraCapital
Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group, aims to build purpose-driven infrastructure that spurs economic growth and improves lives. It develops Economic Estates as well as Water, Digital Infrastructure, and Transport & Mobility projects that enable businesses and uplift communities.
Its current business units include the LIMA Estate and LIMA Water Corporation in Batangas, Mactan Economic Zone 2 Estate, West Cebu Estate, and Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu, Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. in Davao, and Unity Digital Infrastructure. The company also has a minority stake in Balibago Waterworks System, Inc., a privately-owned waterworks utility system.