Cayetano

Senate bill seeks to boost PH digital infrastructure

May 26, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 69 views

SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano took a significant step in bolstering the country’s digital infrastructure and enhancing connectivity for all Filipinos after the Konektadong Pinoy Act was formally filed in the Senate before Congress adjourns sine die.

Senate Bill 2699, submitted jointly with the Committees on Public Services and Finance on May 22 seeks to overhaul the nation’s outdated telecommunications regulatory framework and align it with the requirements of the digital age.

Cayetano, who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, believes that by modernizing the country’s telecommunications landscape, the bill will address the barriers in connectivity like the longstanding issues on affordability, speed, and accessibility.

“We can no longer afford to be in the dark ages when it comes to the Internet and its accessibility to each and every Filipino,” he said.

Cayetano is joined by co-authors Senators Marcos, Gatchalian, Poe, Revilla Jr., Zubiri, Villanueva, Tulfo, Lapid, Estrada, and Legarda, to establish a comprehensive connectivity framework in the country.

The bill proposes four key reforms to ensure more reliable and affordable internet connectivity for everyone.

It aims to simplify the process for telecom companies to get approval, removing the need for a legislative franchise. This change is intended to increase competition, reduce costs, and improve service quality.

Additionally, the bill focuses on managing the radio spectrum more efficiently to enhance service quality and expand coverage.

The legislation also requires telecom companies to share infrastructure, which will lower operational costs and make it easier for new companies to enter the market, especially in areas that currently have little or no service.

Lastly, the Konektadong Pinoy Act sets performance standards to ensure the bill’s effective implementation and protect the interests of Filipino consumers.

Cayetano envisions that government services will become more accessible to every Filipino with improved internet access streamlining bureaucratic procedures and enabling easier access to public information.

“The use of present technology affords the government the opportunity to bring itself and its services closer to the people,” he said.

The Konektadong Pinoy Act is slated for deliberation in Senate sessions. With the backing of government economic development agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), this bill represents a significant stride toward a more connected and empowered Philippines through affordable and reliable internet access.