Leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have been cited by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) for their contributions to the government's initiatives to streamline processes, particularly in rolling out telco infrastructure.
During its 5th State of the ARTA Address and Recognition Night, the agency conferred a Plaque of Recognition to PLDT and Smart for the Group's "invaluable support to the ARTA's programs and initiatives in the first year of the Marcos Administration."
"We are honored to be partners of the Government in ensuring the efficient rollout of telecommunications equipment and infrastructure across the country, thereby connecting more Filipinos and ensuring the delivery of our services to them nationwide," said Atty Joan de Venecia-Fabul, PLDT Deputy Chief Legal Counsel.
Last year, ARTA also cited PLDT and Smart for their exemplary support and contribution to ARTA's flagship program, National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficiency Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA), which was aimed at reducing the time, cost, requirements, and procedures of government transactions, especially in the telecommunications sector.
Initiatives led by government agencies such as ARTA, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to streamline government permitting guidelines for telecommunications infrastructure have enabled PLDT and Smart to secure fixed and wireless permits in a timely manner, boosting the Group's continued nationwide network buildout to support the connectivity needs of Filipinos across the country.
As of end-March 2023, PLDT had expanded its total fiber footprint to over 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and over 874,000 kilometers of domestic fiber.
This fiber infrastructure also supports Smart's 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G network, which covers 97 percent of the country's population as of end-March 2023.
PLDT and Smart's continued efforts to transform their integrated fixed and wireless networks 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.
These also reinforce the commitment of the PLDT Group, led by its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio as one of the founding members under the Digital Infrastructure group of the Government-mandated Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), with PSAC programs such as GoDigital Pilipinas aimed at expanding access to digital technologies.