DICT, NTC urge DPWH to amend right-of-way rules to speed up ICT infra rollout

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020   •   1177

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Wednesday called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to look into the feasibility of amending the policy on the right-of-way to expedite the rollout of ICT infrastructure.

In a statement, the DICT said the agency and the NTC recently wrote to the DPWH urging it to consider Department Order 73 which provides for the right-of-way rules and regulations.

The DICT said the DPWH department order currently prohibits “posts and towers of Electric Cooperatives and Major Electric Power Distribution; distribution lines; posts for cable of phones and mobile service providers” along all national roads.”

The department said this prohibition results in difficulties for public telecommunication entities as they proceed with the implementation of their roll-out plans for critical backbone and last mile connectivity. 

In its letter to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar dated Sept. 21, the DICT and NTC recalled their joint commitment under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed during the First Philippine Telecoms Summit on May 08, 2017.

The MOA stated that the agencies agreed to amend or revise D.O. 73, s. 2014 to institute more conducive right-of-way regulations to accelerate the deployment of ICT infrastructure. 

After the MOA signing, the DPWH held various technical working group (TWG) meetings with representatives from the DICT, NTC, telcos, cable operators as well as other stakeholders. 

Proposed amendments to D.O. 73 are also highlighted as one of the priorities of the recently established Telecommunications Monitoring Group (TMG).

The TMG is an inter-agency body comprised of members from the DICT, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC), Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP).

DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said, “the indispensable use not just of telecommunications, but also of the Internet and other information services in the new normal, highlights the urgent need for equitable access to affordable, quality and reliable ICT connectivity.”

The DICT chief believes that ICT connectivity will only be possible through the accelerated rollout of ICT networks and infrastructure.

“So our priority is to develop enabling policies that address the private sectors’ complaints against red tape that serve as a cause of delay in the rollout of infrastructure for both telecommunications as well as information services,” he added.

Telcos at internet service providers, pinaghahanda para sa holiday online traffic surge

Robie de Guzman   •   December 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan ng National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ang mga telecommunication company at internet service provider (ISP) sa bansa na palakasin pa ang kapasidad ng kanilang internet at broadband services.

Ito ay bilang paghahanda sa inaasahang pagtaas ng online traffic ngayong holiday season.

Ayon sa NTC, marami ang magsasagawa ng virtual gatherings ngayong Disyembre dahil na rin sa nagpapatuloy na banta ng COVID-19. Inaasahan rin ang mataas na usage rate ng video call at conferencing na nangangailangan ng malakas at maaasahang internet connection.

Kaya dapat ay naka-alerto ang telcos at ISPs upang masegurong maayos ang serbisyo at maiwasan ang downtime.

“During the period from December 17, 2021 to January 07, 2022, please observe a heightened level of emergency preparedness to ensure minimal disruption and downtime strictly complying with the prescribed service performance standards at all times,” ayon sa NTC.

“You are hereby directed to fast track your maintenance efforts, increase internet/broadband capacities, and ensure that business continuity and disaster recovery protocols are in place and functioning, 24/7,” dagdag pa ng ahensiya.

Una nang hinimok ng Department of Health ang publiko na gawin na lamang online ang selebrasyon sa halip na magtipon ng pisikal ngayong panahon ng holiday upang makaiwas sa banta ng COVID-19.

Noong nakaraang taon, nagpalabas rin ng kahalintulad na kautusan ang NTC upang matiyak na matatag ang serbisyo na ibinibigay ng mga telco at ISP bunsod ng mataas na demand sa internet sa bansa.

NTC to telcos: Warn public against spam text messages

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered telcos to send a message to its subscribers, warning them about text scams that contain dubious job offers.

In a memorandum dated November 19, the NTC directed Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications, Dito Telecommunity, and Digitel Mobile Philippines to send a text blast containing the following message:

“BABALA! Huwag maniwala sa text na diumano’y nag-aalak ng trabaho. Huwag po magbigay ng personal na impormasyon. Ito po ay isang scam.”

The NTC said telcos have until December 14 to submit their compliance report on the latest directive.

The order comes after thousands of mobile users complained of receiving text messages or e-mails offering job opportunities.

Authorities have tagged this as a scam and advised public to report this to the NTC.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier said its initial probe showed that a global organized syndicate could be behind the proliferation of text scams.

The NPC said it has summoned data protection officers of local telcos, banks, and e-commerce platforms to discuss the scam text surge.

NTC, makikipag-ugnayan sa PNP at NBI para matunton ang nasa likod ng text scams

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Makikipag-ugnayan ang National Telecommunications (NTC) sa pulisya at sa National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) para imbestigahan ang mga nasa likod ng text scams.

Ito ay kasunod na rin ng mga reklamo ng ilang mobile subscribers ukol sa natatanggap nilang mga text messages mula sa mga ‘di kilalang phone numbers na nag-aalok ng trabaho, o kaya ay pautang.

Ayon sa NTC, maraming paraan para makuha ang phone number ng isang indibiduwal na pinapadalhan ng spam texts.

Kabilang na dito ang listahan ng mga number na nagpapaload sa mga tindahan at sa contact tracing system ng mga establisimyento.

Pero giit ni NTC deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, ipinagbabawal ang pagbibigay ng impormasyong ito sa ibang tao at paggamit rito para sa text scams.

“We can coordinate perhaps with NBI at police para surveillance, ano, ma-determine sino yung mga yan—grupo ba sila or individual, et cetera, et cetera,” ani Cabarios.

Payo ng NTC sa publiko, huwag magbigay ng personal na impormasyon kung makakatanggap ng mga ganitong mensahe.

Maaari namang i-block ng NTC ang phone number ng mga gumagawa ng ganitong aktibidad kung hihilingin ng mga magrereklamo.

Kung makakatanggap ng text scams, maaari itong ireport sa NTC Central Office Consumer Welfare and Protection Division sa mga numerong (+63) (02) 8920-4464; (+63) (02) 8926-7722; at (+63) (02) 8921-3251.

Maaari ding magpadala ng mensahe sa e-mail address ng NTC na consumer@ntc.gov.ph. (Mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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