The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines and other groups have supported the Open Access in Data Transmission bill or Senate Bill (SB) 1762, saying the measure would give the local telecommunications industry improved “competition, innovation and a level playing field.”
In a statement over the weekend, the JFC, local businesses and civil society groups backed the passage of the measure, seen to improve internet services in the country.
The bill, they said, opens the sector for more service providers, pushing the sharing of infrastructure and resources among telco players and improving “access, affordability and quality of transmission services.”
Allowing more telco players to set up transmission services is also necessary to expand internet access across the country for inclusive development, they said.
SB 1763 also outlines a data services regulatory framework that matches how the internet works, they added, which should be “decentralized, distributed and redundant.”
Meanwhile, the bill clarifies the role and gives authority to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that current laws do not provide, they said.
“We believe that the Open Access in Data Transmission bill is a reform that will not only make the telecommunications and data services sector more dynamic but will also improve the country’s competitiveness as it prepares for the fourth industrial revolution,” they said.
Supporting the bill are the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Animation Council of the Philippines, Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Coalitions for Change, Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Democracy.net.ph, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, Federation of the International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines Internet Society, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. and the US-Asean Business Council Inc.
The bill was approved on third and final reading on Nov. 21, 2017 at the House of Representatives and is currently up for second reading at the Senate.