Lauds government policy shift to digital, lays down wishlist to sustain reforms
The Globe Group, the Philippines’ leading digital solutions platform, commends the government for paving the way for greater digital transformation in the country through forward-thinking policies enacted since the start of the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
As the President delivers his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24, Globe extends its gratitude for milestones scored in his first year in Malacañang which have made significant reforms possible, bringing the Philippines closer to becoming a truly Digital Nation.
“We are grateful for the support from the government and our open collaboration towards achieving great strides in our national digitalization journey. Together, we have accomplished a lot over the past year. We are excited to see how much farther we can go as we pursue our shared goal of enabling and empowering Filipinos through innovative digital solutions,” said Ernest Cu, Globe Group President and CEO.
The first year of President Marcos’ administration is marked by significant developments that are key in propelling the country’s digital transformation.
For one, the President has enabled closer and more productive public-private collaboration through the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), a platform that gives the private sector a voice in shaping the national development agenda.
Through PSAC, private sector representatives have a direct line to the President, able to share their expertise and experience towards policy-crafting, and also granted the opportunity to propose national-scale innovations that have the potential to uplift Filipino lives.
This synergy has led to the issuance of the President’s Executive Order No. 32, which has granted telcos the long-awaited streamlining of the permitting process of ICT infrastructure. This order will serve to accelerate network expansion in response to the steadily growing customer demand for connectivity.
The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding on the Connectivity Rating Index, meanwhile, will foster a healthier competitive environment for connectivity providers, encourage business owners to optimize quality connectivity as a differentiator, and empower consumers in making better choices when it comes to spaces where they go.
In the area of legislation, the SIM Registration Act, a landmark law passed to combat SMS scams and fraud, is proving to be a powerful tool in helping telcos combat cybercrime, with a marked decline in suspicious messages reaching SIM users.
With the government and private sector aligned on the path to digital advancement, the Globe Group is counting on the administration to continue regulatory reforms that would enable the country’s sustained transformation.
Globe hopes for the government’s support in ensuring the timely electrification of ICT infrastructure, particularly cell towers, so that telcos can provide life-enabling connectivity to more areas in the country.
To enable an unhampered shift to advanced network technologies, Globe also calls for the rationalization of the 26-year-old Spectrum User Fees (SUF). In its current form, the SUF penalizes greater use of more spectrum-efficient 4G and 5G and other Fixed Wireless Access technologies. It also disincentivizes network expansion, as fees are charged for every station even for the same frequencies. This hampers the industry’s push for stronger and wider connectivity as demand continues to grow.
As a strong advocate for internet-ready developments, Globe also hopes to see the passage of a law that requires developers to allocate space for telco infrastructure and an amendment of the National Building Code and/or its IRR to require the mandatory provision of telecommunications infrastructure in developments. At 46 years old, the country’s building code is already antiquated and was crafted at a time when connectivity was not yet considered a basic human need.
To strengthen enforcement against financial fraud, Globe is also calling for the passage of legislation that would penalize the use of e-wallets as conduits for money laundering and other financial scams, as digital financial transactions continue to grow.
Globe is also eager to see the passage of amendments to the Intellectual Property Code, also a 26-year-old policy that needs to catch up with the times to allow stronger measures such as site blocking to combat content piracy. After it hurdled the House of Representatives earlier this year, Globe hopes for its continued progress in the legislative hierarchy towards enactment.
The company also looks forward to greater collaboration with law enforcement agencies and relevant government entities to boost enforcement against cable theft, which causes connectivity disruptions to the detriment of customers.
“We’ve had an accomplished first year. As we move forward as partners in digital transformation, the Globe Group hopes to see more policy reforms that will sustain our progress so that in time, the Philippines will no longer be just catching up. Rather, the Philippines will set the standard,” said Cu.