DICT backs NTC’s streamlining of permit process for fiber optic cable deployment

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2020   •   580

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Thursday expressed support for the initiative of its attached agency, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), to streamline the permitting process for the installation of fiber optic cables.

The DICT said the NTC is requesting concerned government agencies to streamline the permitting processes for fiber optic cables similar to Joint Memorandum Circular No.1 s. 2020, which streamlines the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates for the construction of shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure.

These concerned agencies were the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

The move seeks to facilitate seamless integration of fiber optic cable and wireless technologies that are both critical components of the country’s broadband network, it added.

“The DICT is currently fast-tracking the implementation of the National Broadband Program – our Department’s initiative in building a government-owned broadband network for better, more affordable and more extensive Internet connectivity in the country,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said in a statement.

“We welcome all initiatives that will complement the NBP, including efforts to improve ICT infrastructures in the private sector side,” he added.

The NTC said in its letter to the DICT and the said concerned agencies that the joint memorandum circular signed in July this year has proven to be effective in facilitating the addition of required base towers in the Philippines leading to improvements in wireless coverage and technologies.

The DICT said the NTC also aims to fast-track the deployment of fiber optic networks, the fundamental telecommunication infostructure needed to address the country’s ICT needs along with addressing the wireless component of telecommunications.

NTC said it is presently coordinating with the DPWH for possible amendments in Department Order No. 73 s. 2014 which provides for guidelines for right-of-way concerns in the deployment of fiber optic networks along national roads and bridges.

DICT vaccine information system aims to expedite COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has underscored the importance of the Vaccine Information and Management System (VIMS) in the government’s vaccination rollout for COVID-19.

On Wednesday (April 21), DICT Usec. Manny Caintic said VIMS aims to expedite the monitoring and tracking of the supply and distribution of vaccines throughout the country.

Caintic said health professionals can also use VIMS in monitoring vaccination centers during rollout.

Ang VIMS ay magiging single source of truth para sa lahat ng impormasyon patungkol sa pagbabakuna kontra COVID-19 (VIMS will serve as the single source of truth for all information on vaccination against COVID-19),” he said.

He also assured data privacy will be implemented and any personal information of a vaccinated individual will not be leaked.

The DICT official also said the data from LGUs is vital in VIMS.  He urged LGUs to submit requirements for VIMS to track its vaccine distribution for the vaccination information system.

The deadline given to the DICT for VIMS rollout in the National Capital Region LGUs is set until end-April, while the deadline for the VIMS in LGUs outside NCR was set until the end of May. AAC

IATF approves use of automatic contact tracing via smart messaging system

Maris Federez   •   April 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Saturday (April 10) approved the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority to use automatic contact tracing through smart messaging system.

A statement issued by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday said this is to further strengthen and improve the use of StaySafe.ph System – the official social distancing, COVID-19 health-condition reporting, and contact tracing system of the government.

“To ensure interoperability and integration of all contact tracing applications integration in the StaySafe.ph System, there will be an initial beta-testing, together with the proposed messaging, of the Smart Messaging System in Pasig City due on May 1, 2021, and beta-testing in the consortium of Antipolo and cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela due on May 1, 2021, with access to COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS),” the statement said.

The IATF has also adopted the recommendation on the immediate completion of the transfer of ownership of the CDRS, and its immediate integration with the StaySafe.PH System and other local contact tracing systems and applications, to the Department of Health (DOH), Roque said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to be the overall lead in the implementation of the project, while the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is directed to lead its national interoperability.

The DOH, on the other hand, is in charge of ensuring the integration of the StaySafe.ph System with the CDRS.

The DILG shall be convening with the DICT and the DOH to formulate the necessary action plan with specific timelines and targets for the said project.

DICT backs bill seeking refund from telcos for service disruptions

Robie de Guzman   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has expressed support for a bill that seeks to require telecommunications companies and internet service providers to give refunds for service outages and interruptions.

The Senate Bill 2902 seeks to amend Republic Act 7925 or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines which was enacted into law in 1995.

Under the proposal, public telecommunications entities and internet service providers must, “on a pro-rated basis, provide a refund credit to a customer, or adjust a customer’s bill, who has experienced a service outage or disruption for an aggregate period of 24 hours or more within a month.”

The refund credit shall likewise be granted to customers subscribing to a service on a prepaid basis.

“It is only just and necessary that Filipinos get the quality of service they pay for,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Honasan stated that the DICT recognizes the challenges that telcos and ISPs face in the roll-out of their services in the country. He said the Common Tower Policy is one of the Department’s initiatives to provide assistance to the private sector in fast-tracking their infrastructure roll-out.

Department Circular (DC) No. 008, s. 2020 dated 29 May 2020 provides for the guidelines on the co-location and sharing of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure for Macro Cell Sites, or most commonly referred to as the Common Tower Policy.

The policy is expected to widen the base of common towers and will speed up the deployment of the internet across the country as it allows and encourages telcos and Internet service providers to share cell towers.

“Building their own towers is not only very costly but is also time-consuming given the amount of processing and construction work needed for each. Because of this, the private sector tends to invest in areas that will ensure return on investment, which are mostly in populated and urbanized areas,” Honasan said.

“With the common tower policy, private telcos and ISPs are given better opportunities to provide Internet services to other areas for lower costs and risks.  Hence, the roll-out of the internet in the country will be much faster and more extensive—the effects of which are already being felt with the moving up of our global internet rankings and the increase in both our mobile and fixed broadband speeds,” he added.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.