These areas which are currently inaccesible due to Covid-19 quarantine measures include Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Palawan, Iloilo, Capiz, Samar, Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga del Norte.
“The PLDT Group would like to respectfully appeal to the DICT and DILG to direct LGUs and other concerned sectors to enjoin their immediate cooperation in granting the PLDT Group access to its facilities within their respective areas to conduct critical works,” it said.
With the nationwide implementation of the different levels of community quarantine, restrictions imposed by some local government units have impacted the PLDT Group’s performance of critical activities such as service restoration, maintenance, installation works, capacity expansion, replacement and upgrade of critical facilities and other urgent work.
“Amid COVID-19, our services have become really essential to our countrymen. Many of our customers have been affected by the pandemic and the lockdowns, and we are here to help them get back on their feet by making sure that our quality services are always available to them,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer.
“The initiative of government to make it easier for us to build more towers quicker will be a big help in terms of improving coverage,” Panlilio said, following the government’s issuance of 211 building and preconstruction permits to Smart since the Anti-Red Tape Authority isued its joint memorandum circular in August.
The group is stepping up its expansion with around P70 billion earmarked for capital spending this year following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
PLDT and Smart have already invested P260 billion from 2015 to 2019 to boost their network coverage.