Tarlac solon files bills on open access, e-health, expanding powers of NTC

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Tarlac second district representative Victor Yap has filed 30 bills, most of them concerning the ICT (information and communications technology) sector, during the first day of filing of bills for the 18th Congress.

House ICT committee chair Victor Yap

Among his priority measures include bills that aim to make Internet in the country faster and better. House Bill No. 57 or the Open Access Bill promotes competition in data transmission and telecommunications services by lowering the cost and minimizing the barriers to entry by service providers.

“This would allow even the small service providers to build and operate their own network, which will benefit communities that remain underserved by big telecom network providers. This means that schools, SMEs, and local governments in far-flung areas would now have opportunities for better internet connectivity,” said Yap, who served as chairman of the ICT committee in the 17th Congress.

He also filed HB 62 that expands the powers and capacity of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to regulate telcos, impose fines, and require telcos with significant market power to provide timely access to their network.

“This bill not only seeks to improve compliance among public telecommunication entities, it would also boost the NTC so it can ably foster the much needed growth of ICT in the country,” Yap explained.

Yap also filed HB 61 that aims to utilize ICT for health services. The eHealth bill seeks to deliver medical services and improve access to healthcare, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

“eHealth not only seeks to address current disparities in service care delivery, it also improves the flow of health information to help achieve the Universal Health Care goal of a more responsive health system. ICT can be used to enhance the timeliness and accuracy of health reporting to better facilitate monitoring of diseases in the country,” he said.

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