PLDT, Smart back stronger internet connectivity, enabling faster PH recovery

Present during the Women’s Economic Empowerment webinar are, from top right: University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. (UPPAF) Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development (RESPOND) Gender Specialist Jeanne Frances I. Illo; PLDT First Vice President and Head for Regulatory and Strategic Affairs Atty. Aileen Regio; CSEE Metro Naga PESO Manager Florencio Tan Mongoso, Jr.; Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Secretary and Director General Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica; UPPAF RESPOND Chief of Party Dr. Enrico L. Basilio; Supervising GAD Specialist Pamela C. Susara; and Engr. Leo C.L. Urbiztondo, Jr., PECE Director for the Government Digital Transformation Bureau under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) (not in photo

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) call on the public and private sector to work together towards the improvement of the country’s Internet connectivity, to help hasten the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

In the recent Women’s Economic Empowerment webinar held by the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, Inc. (UPPAF), PLDT First Vice President and Head of Regulatory and Strategic Affairs Atty. Aileen Regio highlighted the important role that PLDT and Smart play in the country’s transformative journey and economic recovery, especially amid the pandemic.

“We understand that telecommunications and connectivity play a critical role in stimulating the growth of the modern economy. Telecommunications has become even more critical at this point in time when COVID-19 has continued to plague our country,” Atty. Regio said. “Fast and resilient connectivity will likewise be instrumental in the light of our recovery from COVID-19 as well as the recovery of the Philippine economy. Strong and robust connectivity and telecommunications service are also crucial, so that we can finally achieve our aspirations towards a digitally transformed government.”

PLDT First Vice President and Head for Regulatory and Strategic Affairs Atty. Aileen Regio joins the Women’s Economic Empowerment webinar to talk about the critical role that telecommunications play in the country’s economic revival.

According to Atty. Regio, it is important that the public and private sector work together towards the improvement of the country’s Internet connectivity to support a more inclusive business industry such as the micro-small-medium enterprises as well.

“On behalf of PLDT and SMART, I just want to give this assurance and commitment to support the government in its efforts to introduce pro-investment telecommunications policies, including all measures that will speed up the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure in the country. This is even more true today as we face this unfamiliar crisis that has changed the way we live,” Atty. Regio said. “When both the public and private sectors collaborate, we believe that we can realize our common objective of having a world-class telecommunications service in the country; thereby, improving government processes and systems and uplifting the lives of our countrymen.”

During the session, Anti-Red Tape Authority Secretary and Director General Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica also shared the efforts of the government when it comes to regulatory reforms to improve connectivity and citizens’ access to government services. According to Atty. Belgica, the government’s efforts are geared towards creating more efficient systems that are accessible to Filipinos.

Engr. Leo C.L. Urbiztondo, Jr., PECE Director for the Government Digital Transformation Bureau under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), shared the DICT’s efforts to address the connectivity challenges faced by local government units, businesses and citizens. These include the National Broadband Plan, which helps accelerate the deployment of fiber optic cables; Free WiFi for All; and the enhancement of government connectivity support through the National Government Data Center. PLDT and Smart’s relentless push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

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