13 April 2020 – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directs all public telecommunication entities (PTEs) as well as internet service providers (ISPs) to submit a Business Continuity Plan detailing measures taken to ensure uninterrupted service and to address the increased demand for ICT services.

The order aims to boost efforts at maintaining the operation of vital ICT services and supporting infostructure as the administration extends the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until the end of April 2020 to manage the COVID-19 threat.

For the duration of the ECQ, telecommunications play a key role as many businesses shift from traditional operations to work-from-home arrangements for health and safety concerns.

This is in line with the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) directive to the NTC to monitor mobile network operators (MNOs) and ISPs to ensure the continued provision of reliable services through sufficient bandwidth allocation.

These measures by the NTC and DICT also complement Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, which mandates the continued operation of telecommunications as a critical service during the ECQ.

Likewise, all issuances and initiatives of the DICT and NTC, in relation to dealing with the COVID-19 threat and management of the ECQ, are in line with the guidance and direction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

The reports on the Business Continuity Plans are expected to be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner of the NTC on or before April 17, 2020.