Market Intelligence
Information and Communication Technology Philippines Southeast Asia Market Access

Philippines Smart City Market

U.S. firms interested in offering smart city solutions can find eager customers in the public and private sectors. To pursue opportunities in the Philippines, U.S. firms need to have a local presence.

The Philippines is facing formidable challenges as its economy and population rapidly grow.  Traffic, slow internet and an antiquated infrastructure hinder the nation from reaching its full potential. The Philippines loses $1.5 billion a day due to traffic.

Thus, the country requires many solutions at the national and local levels. U.S. firms interested in offering smart city solutions can find eager customers in the public and private sectors. Seventeen cities in Metro Manila are advancing smart city efforts such as disaster risk mitigation, resilience management, digital health and education, and data center upgrades to include cyber-security and analytics solutions.

In 2018, the top four cities with the highest business revenue to invest in infrastructure development were Makati ($280 million), Manila ($209 million), Pasig ($197 million), and Quezon City ($323 million). These cities, in addition to other major cities in the metro region, would be prospective customers for U.S. firms. Non-Metro Manila options to consider would include Cebu and Davao, both part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Smart Cities Network.

Private sector land developers such as Ayala Lands, SM Prime Holdings, DMCI, Megaworld, Filinvest, and Robinsons Land consider small cities to have specific needs requiring U.S. provided solutions. The challenge are to define the specific project of interest. Firms need to meet with city officials to narrow particular needs against solutions they can provide. While cities do have budgets, the best way forward is to offer an initial trial pilot free of cost to the city. Following the pilot, the city would then decide and allocate the budget for procurement. Solutions that increase efficiency and generate revenue is preferred. To pursue opportunities in the Philippines, U.S. firms need to have a local presence.

Having a local partner is a requirement for bidding on government projects. Local government projects have more flexibility in this aspect. The National Government is also setting new standards and making procurements through the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT). Tenders are conducted following Philippine law and favor the “lowest cost compliant bid.” The U.S. Government continues to improve the business environment for ICT services through technical assistance programs offered at the national and city level, such as the City of Davao for its command and control center and integrated transport management system. 

For more information, please contact Commercial Specialist John Giray at John.Giray@trade.gov.

04/23/2020