PLDT, Smart back gov’t pursuit of fair competition

PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have expressed their support for government initiatives to ensure fair competition in the industry, adding that these boost PLDT and Smart’s efforts to improve customer experience.

“We stand with our government, and grateful for these undertakings, as we work towards providing world-class connectivity for all Filipinos,” said Alfredo Panlilio, president and CEO, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications. “Together, we will continue to support our increasingly connected societies, especially in the new normal.”

Since the government fast-tracked approvals for telco firms last year, PLDT and Smart have secured more than 25,000 fixed and wireless permits as of July 27, 2021.

These initiatives include the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)’s issuance of the Joint Memorandum Circular fast-tracking the issuance of permits and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s recently issued Department Order No. 29 (DO 29), which allows telecommunications companies to occupy a portion of the government Right of Way (ROW), subject to prescribed conditions.

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Abuse of dominance

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) also recently announced that it has formed a task force to investigate cases and complaints involving exclusive partnerships among condominiums, subdivisions, and other development property owners and internet service providers (ISP) for “abuse of dominance.”

“Entering exclusive developments remains a challenge, but we are committed to expand the coverage of our networks to serve as many Filipinos across the country. We commend the PCC and pledge our support for this initiative,” said Atty Aileen Regio, FVP and head of PLDT’s Regulatory and Strategic Affairs.