Plans on improving the Philippines’ Internet landscape were discussed on the second part of the Future of the ICT Industry in the Country event organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on July 1, 2021.
“As we continue to move forward, we recognize the ever-evolving nature of the ICT industry and the changing needs of the people. We recognize the need to continuously update and improve our policies, plans, programs and initiatives to effectively draw out the potential of ICT innovations in the development of our country,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said.
“Through this event, we hope to come up with various areas of improvement where we could work together to further promote and advance the national ICT agenda,” he added.
The DICT, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) discussed the government’s efforts to improve Internet connectivity and access nationwide.
DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic presented the Department’s digital connectivity initiatives for the next five years, highlighting the development of the Internet Transmission Network that will widen Internet coverage in the country through land, air and space transmission.
Commissioner Gamaliel C. Cordoba shared the NTC’s perspective, as the regulatory agency for public telcos and the broadcast industry in the Philippines, on the future of telecommunications and digital connectivity in the coming years. He presented various innovations in the ICT industry – such as 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) – which telcos could capitalize on to further improve their services.
Meanwhile, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica reported updates on the government’s initiatives to streamline permitting processes for the construction of cell towers. Included in his discussion are the salient features of the revised and expanded Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the streamlining of the permitting process of shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTIs) — which he emphatically signed to conclude his speech.
Top executives of major telco companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Dito Telecommunity, and Converge ICT Solutions likewise presented the status of their Internet broadband roll-out as well as their future plans to further improve and expand their digital services.
Private ICT organizations namely, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NCIP) and the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), also provided insights and strategies on achieving countryside development through ICT.
The second part of the Future of the ICT Industry in the Country event officially capped off the celebration of the National ICT Month 2021, with the theme “Onwards through ICT: Building a Stronger Digital Economy.”
Notable guests from the government, including Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, expressed their support for the DICT and its digital transformation programs and initiatives.
“Information and Communications Technology has been very instrumental in the continued development and modernization of our nation. This is especially true during the present pandemic where the health restrictions imposed all around the world have pushed us to adopt new and innovative strategies with the help of ICT,” Senator Go said. “I also trust that the DICT will take the lead in formulating, crafting and implementing our national strategy for ICT to make this happen.”
“Saludo ako sa DICT at sa pamunuan nito sa pangunguna ni Secretary Honasan dahil sa patuloy na pagsisikap ng inyong kagawaran na lubos na mapadaloy ang pangangailangan ng ating bansa sa serbisyong hatid na teknolohiyang pang-impormasyon at komunikasyon sa iba’t-ibang digital platforms lalo’t higit ngayong tayo’y nasa gitna na ng pandemya,” Congressman Velasco stated. “Let the ICT Month be a promise of renewal for the DICT to act with deliberate haste and determination on these critical development and challenges,” he added.