File photo courtesy of the Palawan Provincial Information Office

Board Member Albert Rama has urged the provincial government to consider entering into a public-private partnership (PPP) on the development of telecommunications services in Palawan to upgrade its information and communications technology (ICT) situation.

In a privilege speech Tuesday, Rama called for the creation of an ICT task force to explore the partnership that will put up the necessary infrastructures needed to stimulate user-information transfer capabilities.

“Marahil oras na para bigyan na natin ng pansin ang bagay na ito kasi maraming kabataan ang deprived sa mga opportunities na dulot ng ICT dahil sa kakulangan ng supporta. Let’s give justice to our youth, particularly those in rural areas. Napakalaki ng kaibahan ng education ng mga bata sa urban and rural areas due to lack of access sa information — kulang na kulang pa,” he said.

Rama also said that the study can include how other countries are making it possible.

He said that Palawan can study the experiences of its Asian neighbors, where their governments provide the infrastructures that telecommunications companies (telcos) can lease or rent.

“We can study the experience of Asian neighbors where the government provides the infrastructures and telcos using the towers by way of lease or renting, kikita pa ang ating gobyerno dito. The provincial and municipal governments and the telcos can cooperate to achieve this,” Rama added.

In support of Rama’s proposal, newly-elected board member Ryan Maminta urged the creation of a task force which will help deliver the right solutions.

Maminta said that there is also a need for the province to be updated regarding the status of telecommunications services in Palawan.

Maminta said that the study should also include how its development can affect “data privacy”.

“This is very timely and needs action from different heads of government. We could create a task force to study before we proceed with the invitation to different officers and representatives from the private sector. This is so we can have an update on the present status of the province. Mahirap kasi na usapin ito, hindi ito madali, there will be questions on data privacy,” he said.

Maminta also said that members of the task force should include the provincial board, different office heads of the provincial government, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector.

The matter has been referred to the committee on communications for further discussion with telco representatives and other related offices in the provincial government.