Seminar on Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB):
Manila, 10 June 2009
Remarks by Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, European Commission
Secretary Chua, Commissioner Canobas, Your Excellency, Ambassador Borja de Mozota,
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for giving me the opportunity to
address you today.
As you know, the European Union has chosen DVB as its platform for digital TV, the
television standard of the 21st Century. We believe it is the best standard currently on offer,
both technically as well as cost-wise. And many others share this belief, as DVB is at various
stages of adoption and implementation in more than 120 countries around the world.
I am pleased to note that this belief is also shared by ASEAN. DVB-T was endorsed as the
ASEAN common digital terrestrial television broadcasting standard during the 9th Conference
of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI), on 24 May 2007. On that
occasion, “The Ministers noted that the DVB-T standard was the most commonly adopted
international DTV standard and would offer the most advantages in terms of economies of
scale, ease of adoption and versatility for multiple platforms”. Following this decision, all
ASEAN countries are preparing for the introduction of digital broadcasting, and some have
already implemented it on the basis of the DVB-T platform.
As the President of the European Commission, Manuel Barroso, pointed out in a recent letter
to President Arroyo, digital broadcasting offers great potential in terms of diversified and
enhanced services to our citizens. Digital broadcasting contributes to building up an informed
society, and to the diffusion of cultural heritage and values. At the same time, it has the
potential to contribute to growth, economic competitiveness and job creation.
President Barroso also noted in his letter that all these objectives are shared by the EU and the
Philippines, and that the introduction of digital broadcasting therefore offers an ideal platform
of cooperation to help further our bilateral relationship. Today's workshop on DVB-T
therefore comes at the right time.
The EU follows with great interest the preparation for the rollout of terrestrial digital
television in the Philippines, which ranks among the most vibrant markets in the ASEAN
region for electronic communications, including notably mobile communications and
associated value-added and social services. We are confident that your own evaluations of the
available technology and standards will lead to a decision in favour of the open standard
DVB, as the best possible model to foster inclusion, provide for an effective safety &
emergency response, accelerate the development of local content and ensure a swift fixed /
I am confident also that today's seminar and our subsequent discussions will further confirm
that the choice of a technology based on an open standard, and already taken-up widely
around the world is the best way to ensure that citizens of the Philippines enjoy cheap devices
and reliable services.
The choice of digital television technology for the Philippines is of course a very important
decision in the fields of information technology and media, growth sectors which contribute
so heavily to economic competitiveness and job creation, and to the general progress of
society and culture.
The choice of the open and collaborative DVB-T technology would be of great benefit to the
Philippines at national level, since it would guarantee economies of scale and other socio-
economic advantages ensuring that digital terrestrial television receivers are available to the
Philippines population at the lowest possible cost. It would also enable the Philippines to be
closely associated with the ongoing development of the DVB standard.
The choice of DVB-T as an open standard would also make clear your willingness to facilitate
a further opening of the Filipino society to trading competitively at global level, and in
particular in enhancing contacts with the EU and its citizens, thus acknowledging our cultural
ties and our common values.
Some might say that the choice of digital television technology could be seen as a political
decision, but I believe that the key factors which will carry weight in your government's
decision on this matter will be the clear-cut economic and technological advantages of DVB-
T, as far and away the world's leading standard in this field.
In connection with today's workshop, Md Vivien Reding, the Member of the European
Commission asked me to share with you the following message – I quote Commissioner
"Following the path of a transparent decision making process, objectively comparing the
advantages of competing technologies and based on the interest of the citizens is vital. We
know that this is what the Philippines has been doing over the last years and I am
confident that the advantages of the DVB family of standards, which have demonstrated
their affordability for every household, and their scalability, will lead to a decision in
favour of these open standards, and that the Philippines will thus join the 121 countries
all over the world that have already chosen DVB. Today's seminar, adding to the
cooperation offer made by the European Union and its industry, is the opportunity to
share experience between the Philippines and Europe, the continent where digital
television is already a reality for millions of people. I wish you a fruitful meeting !"
In closing, I would like to thank our government partners, particularly the CICT and NTC, for
their support and participation in this seminar, the French Embassy for organising the event,
and our visiting experts for all their contributions. Last but not least, I would like to thank the
participants from the various government and private stakeholders in the country for the keen
interest you have shown in this exercise. I wish you all a fruitful exchange, and encourage
you to exploit our visitors to the maximum, by asking as many questions as you possibly can.
Maraming salamat po, sa inyong lahat – et un grand merci aux nos experts français et