PSAC lauds President Marcos for ensuring PH digital infrastructure progress with EO No. 32

Lightstream8 07 July, 2023

The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) warmly acknowledges President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s groundbreaking Executive Order (EO) No. 32. This transformative mandate, designed to fast-track the development of the country’s digital infrastructure, simplifies procedures for telecom projects to significantly increase nationwide connectivity and propel digital advancement

Signed on July 5, EO No. 32 underlines a strategic initiative for the country’s telecommunications and internet infrastructure development. It aims to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and enhance productivity by providing streamlined guidelines for permits, licenses, clearances, and authorizations.

"We thank President Marcos for signing this vital executive order that holds the potential to spur our country's economic growth via digitalization," said Sabin Aboitiz, PSAC Chairman and President and CEO of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. “This action powerfully illustrates the administration's unwavering commitment to making digital infrastructure in the Philippines accessible and affordable.

The EO includes provisions for creating a one-stop shop for construction permits and enforcing a zero backlog policy in all applications for permits and clearances. It also establishes a Technical Working Group (TWG) to ensure efficient implementation of the order. The TWG, chaired by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is expected to craft the EO’s implementing rules and regulations within 60 days of the order’s effectivity.

The enforcement of EO No. 32 will unclog the process, enabling tower and telecom firms to swiftly construct essential infrastructure to support the country's increasing digital connectivity needs. Simultaneously, it fosters an inclusive and competitive business environment, empowering local and international firms to evolve digital innovations that will enhance the lives of Filipinos.

"This is a significant step towards achieving the President’s promise of universal connectivity. By reducing bureaucratic red tape and expediting permitting processes, turnaround time for Shared Telco Tower Infrastructure permits will reduce from 8 months to 16 days, while turnaround time for Poles, Underground Fiber Ducts, Aerial and Underground Cables permit applications will reduce from 2.5 years to 2.5 months. This will ultimately have significant impact to the economy. An economic study shows that a 100% increase in fixed broadband speed results to a 0.3% annual GDP growth, said Henry Aguda, UnionDigital Bank President.

PSAC, under the leadership of Aboitiz and Aguda, looks forward to continued collaboration with the government in its efforts to create a digitally inclusive and sustainable future. Sector member Cu, President & CEO of the Globe Group highlighted other matters that should be prioritized including amending the National Building Code of the Philippines, easing the permitting process for the electrification of telecommunication towers, setting standards for internet connectivity in public places through a connectivity index rating, among others.

PSAC is committed to accelerating digital infrastructure development, leveraging its unique platform for fostering cooperation between the government and the private sector. PSAC members include Globe, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Aboitiz Group, Converge, and PLDT.

EO No. 32 symbolizes a significant stride towards accelerating the evolution of the nation's digital landscape and improving the ease of doing business in the Philippines. This decisive action serves as a testament to the administration's commitment to empowering more citizens with enhanced access to vital resources, services, and opportunities, ultimately catalyzing a digitally inclusive and sustainable future for the Philippines.