NTC orders telcos to act on solon’s call for more cell sites in rural areas 

THENATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has directed three of the country’s major telecommunication companies to “take appropriate action” on the appeal of a lawmaker for the installation of more cell sites in rural areas to improve internet connectivity.   

In a letter to Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., and DITO Telecommunity Corp. dated Aug. 4, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba cited the request for these service providers to “immediately establish, commission and activate cellular sites in the countryside” to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  

The request was made on July 21 by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Party-list Rep. and House Minority Leader Marcelino C. Libanan.    

Mr. Libanan, in a statement on Sunday, said he is pushing for a faster rollout of telecommunication infrastructure in remote parts of the country to help MSMEs recover from the coronavirus pandemic.  

“In order for the country to quickly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our national economy has to be firing on all cylinders,” he said.  

“And our economic engine cannot be firing on all cylinders as long as our MSMEs in the rural areas find it hard to achieve higher productivity due to the lack of reliable high-speed internet connectivity.”   

One of the key programs of the 4Ps Party-list is supporting MSMEs.  

Data as of 2020 from the Philippine Statistics Authority show MSMEs comprise 99.5% of the 957,620 registered establishments in the country. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo