July 21, 2004  (STAR) The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has recently awarded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. for its significant contributions for the development of Cebu’s information and communications technology infrastructure.

PLDT senior vice president for corporate business group Eric Alberto said PLDT’s continuing efforts for the development of Cebu’s ICT infrastructure are in line with Cebu’s goal of becoming a future ICT hub in Asia.

"We are very honored to have this award and we believe that Cebu is increasingly becoming an attractive site for doing business, not only for local companies but also multinational companies that have stringent ICT requirements," he said.

PLDT was given the Grand Chamber Awards for 2004 with a Special Citation on Information and Communications Technology during the recent Cebu Business Month 2004 (CBM) celebration, the biggest yearly business event in Cebu.

The award was presented by President Arroyo, Communications and Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza and CCCI president Robert Go to Juan Victor Hernandez, business head - corporate regional business Visayas.

PLDT was commended "For having contributed concepts, resources, and facilities to further develop ICT, specifically in Cebu and ultimately spearhead globally competitive technology, trade, and human capabilities."

"This is the first time that PLDT is receiving an award in Cebu," said Hernandez. "This strongly shows the Cebu business community’s appreciation of PLDT’s renewed focus in the province."

It was also the first time for PLDT to become the exclusive telecommunications company partner for the CBM, which aimed to accelerate business growth in Cebu by presenting PLDT’s cutting-edge ICT services to the business community.

During the CBM celebration, PLDT also unveiled its first-of-a-kind InnoLab, or Innovation Laboratory and Telecommunications Education Center. InnoLab is a place where ideas and solutions are conceived through research and experimentation on various telecommunications technologies in order to come up with innovations that the business community can benefit from.

InnoLab is also a place where PLDT can simulate customer set-up during problem analysis, test special technical requirements of customers, hold technical training classes, showcase products and solutions to customers, support research and development programs, and exchange knowledge and ideas with members of the community.

Joel Mari Yu, managing director of Cebu Investment Promotion Center, also commended PLDT in his speech during the launching of InnoLab.

"I rejoice every time I witness occasions like this, when I see companies like PLDT establish capability even before asking the question of what kind of opportunity is possible. You do not say, bring me the ICT investor and I will put in the infrastructure. You do not say, bring me the passenger and I will put in the transport facilities. You do not say bring me the tourists and I will build the hotel. You do not say, bring me the patient and I will build the hospital. It is always the other way around: capability before opportunity," he explained.

Virgilio Peńa, Secretary for the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, also emphasized the role of the private sector in helping the country achieve its goal to link all barangays through the use of broadband technology by 2015.

"This task will not be possible if not for the cooperation of the private sector. And being the leader in the telecommunications industry in the country, PLDT, I think, will take the leadership role in terms of achieving this objective. The launching of InnoLab is a manifestation, of that leadership that PLDT will continue to play as far as achieving the goals and objectives that we have set for ourselves," he said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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