Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Telcos laud new EO streamlining permits process for Internet infra

Local telecommunications and broadband providers Globe, PLDT, and Converge welcomed on Thursday, July 6, the issuance of a new executive order (EO) streamlining the permitting process for the installation and maintenance of telecommunications and Internet infrastructure in the Philippines.

Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s EO 32, issued on July 5, mandates streamlined guidelines in obtaining permits to build ICT infrastructure, eliminating redundant processes.

The order is seen to pave the way for greater digital transformation in the country, aligned with the government and private sector’s goal of bridging the digital divide by increasing access to digital resources, services, and opportunities.

“We are grateful to President Marcos for issuing this EO, which will allow the telco industry and the adjunct TowerCo industry to further ramp up infrastructure builds that will provide life-enabling connectivity in an equitable way across the country. This will help accelerate the country’s digital transformation and open doors for more opportunities to Filipinos in the areas of education, employment and innovation,” said Globe Group president and CEO Ernest Cu.

In addition to the EO’s immediate benefits, Globe said it also appreciates the long-term implications of the order. By setting up a one-stop shop for construction permits and implementing a zero backlog policy, the EO encourages transparency and efficiency across all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) involved in the process.

“This EO isn’t just about expediting processes. It’s about setting the stage for a long-term, sustainable digital transformation in the Philippines. It fosters a more inclusive and competitive business environment, spurring innovation that ultimately benefits Filipinos,” Cu said.

PLDT-Smart president and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio also hailed the issuance of the new EO.

Panlilio issued the statement in the wake of recent telco workshops led by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA). The second workshop, hosted by PLDT and Smart, was participated in by other stakeholders from various government and non-government agencies.

“Through collaborations such as this workshop, we hope to address the urgent need to operationalize policies to ultimately ensure the highest possible quality of service for all Filipinos, and consequently support the government’s digitalization efforts,” Panlilio said.

For his part, Converge CEO and founder Dennis Anthony Uy said the presidential directive is aligned with the private sector’s push for the creation of policies and programs promoting the development of digital infrastructure and services.

“We believe EO 32 will empower us in further improving our facilities and allow us to respond to our customers faster,” said Uy, who is a member of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC).

“In partnership with partners in the public sector and peers in the private sector, we will continue our efforts toward digital democracy as we ensure that we will #LeaveNoOneBehind,” he added.

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