Photo from DICT Mindanao Cluster 3

Concurrent with its recent advisory appealing to government agencies to upgrade their ICT equipment and software, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is likewise calling on local government units (LGUs) as well as homeowners associations (HOAs) to ease permitting requirements and streamline their procedures to support the accelerated rollout of cell sites and other ICT infrastructure for telecommunications companies and internet service providers to benefit the constituents and residents in their respective areas. Noting the need for LGUs and HOAs to cooperate in addressing the people’s need for connectivity and better quality of ICT services, the DICT hopes that ICT infrastructure providers will be fostered at the local level to fast track their roll out and construction of much-needed infrastructure during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The DICT has also appealed to all checkpoint officials and other entities enforcing the quarantine, to ensure unhampered movement of ICT personnel and equipment of telecommunications companies, internet service providers, cable television providers, including those who perform indirect services such as technical, sales, and other support personnel, as well as their third-party contractors doing sales, installation, maintenance and repair works.

“Internet access has become an essential utility in our collective efforts to significantly improve the public health situation,” Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said. “With that in mind, we should keep working together for the continued improvement of our internet connectivity infrastructure.”

“Responding to our countrymen’s increased demand for connectivity is one of the President’s core priorities, and we encourage the accelerated rollout of more telco sites to promptly improve internet access,” Honasan added.

The advisory is in line with the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 30 and Office of the President’s Executive Order No. 112, which confirmed and adopted the IATF-MEID’s Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines.