ARTA personnel advance knowledge, ARTA and Meralco boast advanced connectivity

ARTA personnel advance knowledge in reengineering government processes in the Philippines, trains with Australian Embassy and Queensland University of Technology experts

28 March 2024 – Selected personnel from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) participated the week-long training program on Business Process Management (BPM) and System Dynamics by the Australia Embassy in collaboration with the Australia Award and Alumni Engagement Program (AAAEP) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT), particularly taught by the esteemed professors, Prof. Alistair Barros and Dr. Rehan Syed, on 18 to 22 March 2024 at Ortigas, Quezon City.

This Australian government’s technical aid, through Her Excellency (H.E.) Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu, aimed to capacitate ARTA personnel in redefining Philippine bureaucracy.

In particular, the training advanced participants’ knowledge of the principles of BPM. Systems thinking in the review and reengineering of systems and procedures of government through the application of Systems Dynamics were also introduced to the participants. This will aid them in improving their capacity to conduct process reviews.

As an output of the training, participants have developed holistic intervention mechanisms and engagement strategies in communicating process improvement.

ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez expressed his gratitude to the Australian Embassy for its continued support.

“We are thankful with Ambassador Yu’s continued support to the vision of President Marcos Jr. efficient government service,” he said. “I am overjoyed that an exceptional nation for regulatory processes, such as Australia, can share their expertise with us”.

The technical assistance was a product of the consistent coordination and partnership between ARTA and the Australian Embassy for the successful implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Law.

In the EODB Law, ARTA is mandated to assist government agencies in improving and reengineering the government processes to reduce red tape.

A total of ten (10) personnel from ARTA have participated in the said training, representing the Office of the Director General, Operations, and Legal Group.

Representatives from the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) also joined the training.

In addition this will also strengthen the existing partnership of the Philippines with the Australian Government through knowledge and skills exchange, sharing of best practices, and overall capability development.

In Bagong Pilipinas, ARTA continues to welcome assistance from the foreign government in its journey to establish a more inclusive, business-enabling environment that facilitates ease of doing business through good regulatory practices and efficient government services.


ARTA and Meralco boast advanced connectivity in 3rd Telco Workshop

20 March 2024 – With the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to improve bureaucratic efficiency, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), in partnership with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), highlighted the strategic energization of towers at the 3rd Telco Workshop for Telco Towers’ Energization on 19 March 2024 at the Meralco Operating Center, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City.

Under the banner of Bagong Pilipinas, this ARTA-led initiative concurred National Government Agencies (NGAs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), and Independent Tower Companies (ITCs) to further underpin their collaboration with Executive Order No. 32, s. 2023 (EO 32), otherwise known as “Streamlining the Permitting Process for the Construction of Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure” and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Meralco Enterprise Commercial and Conglomerates Head Bernice Gretchel P. Garcia-Rama showcased the positive impact of EO32 in their economic role.

“Assessment on EO32 Impact to Energization will showcase anticipated significant improvements, reducing the energization timeline from 300 and 255 days to just 59 days from the start of application,” she said.

“The acquisition of right-of-way (PROW) has been streamlined from 180 days to a mere 15 days average, with the elimination of adjacent lot owner (ALO) refusal, resulting in energization occurring within 10 to 15 days, provided all requirements are fulfilled by the telco or ITC applicant,” she added.

Year 2023 also marked the highest number of energized projects by Meralco with 734 towers powered up. There has been a continued improvement on these numbers, making Meralco more optimistic for the years to come.

Relative to these developments, ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez highlighted the significance of collaborations like this Telco Workshop in the advancement of interconnectivity in the country.

“With the collaboration of these key stakeholders, we are poised to overcome barriers hindering the rapid deployment of telecommunication infrastructure across the nation,” ARTA Secretary Perez said.

“This event is a testament to our collective dedication to create a Philippines where every community, no matter how remote, can enjoy the benefits of digital inclusion. Our goal, with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), is to cover the whole country with stronger internet connectivity, with no community to be left behind,” he emphasized.

Meralco is the first electric company to host ARTA’s series of telco workshops. The previous ones were in partnership with Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, Inc., which focused on improving the regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector.

“This event serves as a testament to Meralco’s commitment to empowering every community… Together, let us continue this journey, knowing that our efforts today will bring a brighter future tomorrow,” Meralco Assistant Vice President and Meralco Biz Head Robert S. Galang said as he reiterated their commitment towards digitalization through energization.

EdgePoint Philippines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William Walters also shared the importance of holding this event during his presentation.

“Providing connectivity and digital access is not just in business; I think it is a social obligation. We are here in Manila, and most of us are lucky enough to have good jobs and good access to the internet. I think we should give that to the less prosperous part of the nation to help lift them up through these initiatives,” EdgePoint Philippines CEO Walters said.

National government agencies (NGAs) present were DICT, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Office of the Building Official (OBO), National Electrification Administration (NEA), and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

DITO Telecommmunity, Globe Telecom Inc., and Smart Communications. Inc. / PLDT Inc. were also present during the workshop.

Other stakeholders present were officials from registered independent tower companies with DICT namely Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure CREi Phils Inc., EdgePoint Towers Inc., EDOTCO Philippines, Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc., Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines, ISON Towers Inc., LBS Digital Infrastructure Corp, MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corporation, PhilTower Consortium Inc., SkyTower Inc., Transcend Towers Infrastructure (Philippines) Inc., Unity Digital Infrastructure Inc. (Formerly registered with DICT as Aboitiz Airports Advisory Services Corporation), SBA Towers, and Tiger Infrastructure Inc.

Representatives from World Bank Group, USAID – Better Access and Connectivity Project Team (USAID-BEACON), Philippine Association of Building Officials National, Inc. (PABO), and Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) also graced the workshop.

ARTA executives present were also Undersecretary Divinagracia, and Better Regulations Office (BRO) Director Marbida L. Marbida.

Meralco Central Distribution Services Vice President and Head Ariel G. Lucas and National Electrification Administration (NEA) Principal Engineer Rexon M. Argana were also present to share their expertise towards the advancement of EO 32.

As one of its successful sectors in streamlining efforts, ARTA continues its efforts towards telecommunication, ensuring improved interconnectivity in Bagong Pilipinas.