DICT, NTC urge DPWH to amend right-of-way rules to speed up ICT infra rollout

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020   •   1110

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Wednesday called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to look into the feasibility of amending the policy on the right-of-way to expedite the rollout of ICT infrastructure.

In a statement, the DICT said the agency and the NTC recently wrote to the DPWH urging it to consider Department Order 73 which provides for the right-of-way rules and regulations.

The DICT said the DPWH department order currently prohibits “posts and towers of Electric Cooperatives and Major Electric Power Distribution; distribution lines; posts for cable of phones and mobile service providers” along all national roads.”

The department said this prohibition results in difficulties for public telecommunication entities as they proceed with the implementation of their roll-out plans for critical backbone and last mile connectivity. 

In its letter to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar dated Sept. 21, the DICT and NTC recalled their joint commitment under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed during the First Philippine Telecoms Summit on May 08, 2017.

The MOA stated that the agencies agreed to amend or revise D.O. 73, s. 2014 to institute more conducive right-of-way regulations to accelerate the deployment of ICT infrastructure. 

After the MOA signing, the DPWH held various technical working group (TWG) meetings with representatives from the DICT, NTC, telcos, cable operators as well as other stakeholders. 

Proposed amendments to D.O. 73 are also highlighted as one of the priorities of the recently established Telecommunications Monitoring Group (TMG).

The TMG is an inter-agency body comprised of members from the DICT, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC), Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP).

DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said, “the indispensable use not just of telecommunications, but also of the Internet and other information services in the new normal, highlights the urgent need for equitable access to affordable, quality and reliable ICT connectivity.”

The DICT chief believes that ICT connectivity will only be possible through the accelerated rollout of ICT networks and infrastructure.

“So our priority is to develop enabling policies that address the private sectors’ complaints against red tape that serve as a cause of delay in the rollout of infrastructure for both telecommunications as well as information services,” he added.

NTC to telcos: Warn public against spam text messages

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered telcos to send a message to its subscribers, warning them about text scams that contain dubious job offers.

In a memorandum dated November 19, the NTC directed Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications, Dito Telecommunity, and Digitel Mobile Philippines to send a text blast containing the following message:

“BABALA! Huwag maniwala sa text na diumano’y nag-aalak ng trabaho. Huwag po magbigay ng personal na impormasyon. Ito po ay isang scam.”

The NTC said telcos have until December 14 to submit their compliance report on the latest directive.

The order comes after thousands of mobile users complained of receiving text messages or e-mails offering job opportunities.

Authorities have tagged this as a scam and advised public to report this to the NTC.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier said its initial probe showed that a global organized syndicate could be behind the proliferation of text scams.

The NPC said it has summoned data protection officers of local telcos, banks, and e-commerce platforms to discuss the scam text surge.

NTC, makikipag-ugnayan sa PNP at NBI para matunton ang nasa likod ng text scams

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Makikipag-ugnayan ang National Telecommunications (NTC) sa pulisya at sa National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) para imbestigahan ang mga nasa likod ng text scams.

Ito ay kasunod na rin ng mga reklamo ng ilang mobile subscribers ukol sa natatanggap nilang mga text messages mula sa mga ‘di kilalang phone numbers na nag-aalok ng trabaho, o kaya ay pautang.

Ayon sa NTC, maraming paraan para makuha ang phone number ng isang indibiduwal na pinapadalhan ng spam texts.

Kabilang na dito ang listahan ng mga number na nagpapaload sa mga tindahan at sa contact tracing system ng mga establisimyento.

Pero giit ni NTC deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, ipinagbabawal ang pagbibigay ng impormasyong ito sa ibang tao at paggamit rito para sa text scams.

“We can coordinate perhaps with NBI at police para surveillance, ano, ma-determine sino yung mga yan—grupo ba sila or individual, et cetera, et cetera,” ani Cabarios.

Payo ng NTC sa publiko, huwag magbigay ng personal na impormasyon kung makakatanggap ng mga ganitong mensahe.

Maaari namang i-block ng NTC ang phone number ng mga gumagawa ng ganitong aktibidad kung hihilingin ng mga magrereklamo.

Kung makakatanggap ng text scams, maaari itong ireport sa NTC Central Office Consumer Welfare and Protection Division sa mga numerong (+63) (02) 8920-4464; (+63) (02) 8926-7722; at (+63) (02) 8921-3251.

Maaari ding magpadala ng mensahe sa e-mail address ng NTC na consumer@ntc.gov.ph. (Mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DICT in need of 50K volunteer data encoders for 3-day national vaccination days

Maris Federez   •   November 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Monday, November 15, announced that it is in search of, at least, 50,000 volunteer data encoders to be deployed for the coming 3-day national vaccination days slated from November 29 to December 1.

“Sa susunod na mga araw magpopost kami ng sign-up sheet for data encoders para pwede nating italaga sa bawat LGU lalung lalo na sa mahalagang activity ngayong November 29 to December 1, na tinatawag nating 3-day national vaccination days. Doon kailangan po natin ng almost 50,000 data encoders para matulungan ang ating mga LGU, lalung lalo na sa mga lugar na kulang ang kanilang mga marunong mag-encode,” DICT Usec. Manny Caintic said.

This, following the admission of the department that data encoding has become a challenge especially in the local government units (LGUs).

The department said the backlog in data encoding is now at 30% in the LGUs.

“Una sa lahat, mahirap magbakuna at naghahanap tayo ng paraan na magbakuna nang mabilis. Pangalawa, nanghihikayat din tayo sa ating mga tao na tumulong sa inyong mga LGU. Kailangan natin ng data encoders. Mahirap humagilap ng mga data encoder ang mga LGU kasi, una sa lahat, kailangan din natin silang pakainin, at kailangan natin silang bigyan ng incentive,” Caintic said.

“Malaking sanhi po talaga is sa data encoding. Nandoon man sa kanila ang datos, hindi pa nila nailagay sa system para mai-upload. Nasa 30% na naman ulit yung mga backlog sa mga LGU,” he added.

Caintic, on the other hand, lauded other LGUs, specifically the City of Manila and other cities, who have 100% submission rates of encoded data. —/mbmf

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