Press Releases

Salceda on the National Broadband Network: ‘The Maharlika Highway of the digital age;’ House tax panel chair wants PBBM to continue NBN project

October 12th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) is calling on the government to pursue the National Broadband Network project, which was stalled in 2006, calling the infrastructure project the “Maharlika Highway of the digital age.”

The House tax panel chair made the remarks during the Q3 2022 General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Retailers Association today.

“Retail is witnessing what could be the single greatest example of creative destruction in the Philippine economy. The bridge that will carry our workers and businesses from one end of this changing landscape to the other is training and innovation. We need to uptrain workers. We need to innovate businesses,” Salceda warned.

Regretting the shelving of the project at the height of the NBN-ZTE controversy, Salceda called its postponement “a mistake.”

“To that end, I have been championing the reactivation of the National Broadband Network project. If we pursued it in 2006, it would have been so much cheaper and we could have been ahead of the curve. Shelving it was a policy mistake. It would be foolish to continue paying for that mistake by delaying this essential infrastructure project – the Maharlika Highway of the digital age,” Salceda said.

“It will unlock business innovations. It will create new digital jobs, especially for freelancers. I want these jobs created because they could become the biggest consumers of online retail. They make money in dollars, but stay at home for work, so they need to buy from you online. And they have the spending money to do so.”

“Most crucially, the NBN will expand access for both consumers and resellers – the key to retail growth,” Salceda asserted.

Broaband key to easier taxes, processes for retailers

Salceda also highlighted the need for a national broadband network to make paying taxes and other business processes easier.

In his speech, Salceda highlighted the shift to an electronic invoicing system, which would make claiming VAT refunds and completing tax requirements for small businesses easier.

Salceda also highlighted that with the Ease of Paying Taxes Act, which he principally authored, taxpayers will be able to file and pay taxes “anywhere in the world.”

“And to maximize these new innovations in government service, you need a national broadband network that provides cheap, reliable internet services for the country’s small businesses,” Salceda said in subsequent comments.

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