Tuesday, July 25, 2023

PLDT Group heeds SONA call for continuous collaboration to achieve PH digitalization goals

A year into the current administration, leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have further affirmed their commitment to support the government's nationwide digitalization thrust.

A longtime champion of the country’s digital transformation, PLDT, through its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio, concurred with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reinforcing digitalization as a “call of the present” during his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA). The country’s chief executive also underscored how “collaboration is key” to a “whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach” to “not only become more effective but to become truly transformative.”

"The PLDT Group is always ready to support the government in its endeavors to ensure that the Philippines remains an attractive and reliable investment destination, with digitalization enhancing the delivery of government services, contributing to ease of doing business, enabling the continued growth of e-commerce and digital payments, and aiding the fight against corruption," said Panlilio, who is among the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar, which was formed in 2022 on the heels of President Marcos’ 1st SONA.


Support for gov't digitalization initiatives

Over the past year, PLDT has been actively supporting government-backed digitalization initiatives, such as GoDigital Pilipinas (GDP), a movement under PSAC which aims to narrow the digital divide through digital literacy and building a sustainable digital ecosystem. 


It has also been boosting government initiatives to make government services more accessible through apps such as the eGovPH Super App, a platform for local and national services, LGU services, healthcare assistance, and e-payments, among other functions. PLDT is also supporting the creation of a Connectivity Index Rating, which aims to set internet quality standards in public and private establishments.


PLDT and Smart have also been actively involved in efforts to streamline the permitting process to make the rollout of telco facilities faster and more efficient, and to ensure that their subscribers are able to comply with the SIM Registration Law, the first law signed by President Marcos. 


Smart and TNT continue to lead the industry in SIM registration, with over 49.2 million of their declared 66 million subscriber base already registered as of July 19. This translates to 74.2 percent of Smart and TNT’s subscribers, who are among the Filipinos who can be “protected from identity theft, phishing, and other online scams,” as reiterated by President Marcos on SIM Registration benefits.


Boosting the country's ambition to become the Asia Pacific region's most promising hub for hyperscale investments, PLDT, through its ICT arm ePLDT, is leading the capacity build with the construction of its 11th and largest hyperscale data center to-date, the 50MW VITRO Sta. Rosa, while also augmenting capacities in existing sites such as VITRO Makati 2, Paranaque and Clark.  PLDT’s investments in the Jupiter, Asia Direct, and Apricot international submarine cable systems have also strengthened its foothold as the country’s Data Center powerhouse and “Home of Hyperscalers”.


Underpinning these services are PLDT and Smart's integrated fixed and wireless networks. As of end-March 2023, PLDT's fiber infrastructure spanned over 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of domestic and international fiber. This infrastructure also supports Smart's mobile network, which covers 97% of the population. These telco builds align with President Marcos’ SONA 2023 citation on the country’s improved fixed broadband and mobile internet speed and global ranking.


PLDT and Smart's continuous network enhancement efforts bolster PLDT’s commitment to its aspirational multi-year transformation, with elevating customer experience as one of the key priorities. They also contribute to the PLDT Group’s endeavors to provide connectivity to all, and to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly on SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

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