(File photo)

MANILA – The Duterte administration has delivered its promise of faster internet connection for Filipinos even before its term ends this year.

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica said Friday the whole-of-government approach of simplifying the process of putting up telecommunications infrastructure facilitated improvements in the speed of fixed broadband and mobile data in the country.

This, as Ookla reported that the country’s mobile internet download speed increased to 19.20 megabits per second (Mbps) in December last year from 18.68 Mbps in November, while fixed broadband download speed improved to 50.26 Mbps from 46.44 Mbps in the same period.

“It is with great pride that we recognize the collaborative efforts of the telecommunication sector and our government agencies in continuously providing streamlined guidelines for the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates for the construction of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTIs),” Belgica said in a statement.

Last month, ARTA along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, and other key agencies issued a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on pole, fiber ducts, and cable laying.

This was the third JMC of ARTA related to the telecommunications sector, which aims to simplify processes in the government in terms of giving permits and licenses for telco infrastructure throughout the country.

“The steady increase in internet speed continues to boost the competitiveness of our country in our regional and global community. I believe that by the end of the term of this Administration, the President would have fulfilled his promise to the people of a better and faster internet connection and services,” the ARTA chief added.

He also emphasized the need for the country for better and faster internet connection, especially in the far-flung areas, amid the pandemic.

“The upward trend of the connectivity coincides with the growing demand for faster internet activity among the Filipinos in the new normal as most of our transactions nowadays are done online,” Belgica said.

He said ARTA will continue to step up its efforts and will push for innovation to improve the government’s way of doing business with the transacting public. (PNA)