July 26, 2022

Commodity Reporters Guild

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SONA call for universal connectivity pleases telcos

THE country’s major telecommunications companies expect a more digitalized Philippines under the Marcos administration.

They pledged support for the government’s plan to broaden connectivity and use of technology, which President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. highlighted in his first address to the nation on Monday.

The PLDT group noted the country’s chief executive’s mention of tasking the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to deploy digital connectivity through the national broadband plan, the common tower program, and the Broad Band ng Masa project to isolated and disadvantaged areas using submarine fiber optic cables, terrestrial networks, and satellite technology.

Mr. Marcos also highlighted the use of “breakthrough technologies” in the areas of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, nano technologies, the internet of things, robotics, self-driving electric vehicles, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality in revolutionizing the way business is done.

“We are prepared to assist in the government’s digitalization efforts, empowering its vision of an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the needs of the public,” PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alfredo S. Panlilio said in an e-mailed statement.

Among the priority measures of the Marcos administration are the E-Governance Act and the Internet Transaction Act.

“To support these, PLDT has continued expanding the reach and capacity of its fiber infrastructure, enabling the company to offer fiber-to-the-home services across the Philippines, reaching upland areas like Bontoc and islands like Romblon,” Mr. Panlilio’s group said.

For its part, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. said the President’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) was “seen as an underlying force in the modernization of key sectors, including education and information and communications technology.”

“We’re pleased that the new administration is prioritizing universal connectivity, especially at this critical time when digitalization is at the heart of everything that we do,” Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony H. Uy said in a separate statement.

DITO Telecommunity Corp. said it fully supports Mr. Marcos’ directive to boost connectivity throughout the Philippines.

“We promise to deliver to the new administration’s goal of ensuring every Filipino thrives as the digital world grows, especially highlighted during the pandemic,” DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel A. Tamano said in a statement.

“We have been aggressively building our network to meet our commitments, earmarking massive investments to address Filipino consumers’ rising demand for reliable and high-speed internet connectivity,” he added.

DITO Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago bared the company’s plan of tapping satellite technology to reach underserved and unserved areas.

“With the expansion of our digital infrastructure, DITO is ready to help the Philippines emerge stronger from the pandemic,” he said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin