When public interest so requires
(The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2016 - 9:00am

(Second of Two Parts)

PLDT regulatory affairs and policy head Ray Espinosa said they would seek President Aquino’s intervention on the issue and initiate a legal action against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to push for the 700 MHz frequency’s reallocation to include all local telco players.

In a statement issued in November, PLDT said the applications of Smart Communications and Smart Broadband for an equitable allocation of the 700 MHz radio frequency band for mobile telecommunication use which has been pending since 2008 have become more urgent in the light of the more recent harmonization initiatives and actions taken by the APT and the ITU for the repurposing of the said band from broadcast use to international mobile telecommunications use.

Meanwhile, Globe general legal counsel Froilan Castelo said access to the 700 MHz spectrum would allow the existing players to provide broadband and data services at faster speeds and in a more cost-efficient manner.

According to Globe, as early as 2005, it has been seeking for an allocation and assignment of frequencies within the 700 and 800 MHz bands for its broadband wireless network with the NTC.

Globe added that the equitable distribution of the unused 700 MHz band currently held by San Miguel Corp. will help improve Internet speed in the country.

SMC holds 90 of the 100 MHz on the 700 band through wi-Tribe Telecoms’s 80 MHz and High Frequency Telecommunication’s 10 MHz. SMC acquired the frequencies when it purchased Liberty Telecom from businessman Raymond Moreno sometime in 2008.

The remaining 10 MHz is held by New Century Telecommunications.

PLDT has asked the NTC to distribute part of the frequency band held by SMC to other industry players, saying that the frequency is important in providing local networks with the ability to attain much needed capacity and speed.

PLDT’s Espinosa explained that existing players can improve Internet service to consumers by being given their fair share of the 700 MHz band. He said 100 MHz assigned and held by three companies (two of which belong to SMC) is just too much.

Telco firms have called on the NTC to facilitate the equitable distribution of the 700 MHz band via an auction or by simply allocating it among the different players.

Globe president Ernest Cu was quoted by one newspaper as saying that the 700 MHz should be shared equally by all telco providers in the country instead of being licensed to only one entity.

But NTC regulatory division head Edgardo Cabarrios said it would be difficult to reallocate the frequency band since it has already been assigned. He has stated that there should be a good reason to recall such as non-use of frequency or if the holder has been remiss in paying the required fees to government.

Cabarrios however has been underfire from telco players for expressing unofficial and personal biased statements in favor of the current holders of the 700 MHz radio frequency and for misleading the public about the true state of the frequency and the procedure involved in repurposing the use of radio frequencies under NTC rules and regulations. PLDT is eyeing legal action against Cabarrios.

Radio frequency is such a valuable and scarce public resource that even international agencies and organizations such as the ITU and the GSMA to which the Philippines belongs to recognize the need to reallocate use of frequency when needed by the greater number and for the greater good.

The importance of faster Internet speeds and more capacity cannot be overemphasized. In this country where the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector provides much-needed jobs and revenues, an efficient Internet infrastructure is critical. Fast access to the Internet improves productivity, not only of businesses and business workers, but even students and ordinary folks like each and everyone of us.

The NTC misses the point. This is not about simply taking frequency from one company. This is about reallocating frequency to better use and allowing more players to utilize it to benefit more customers.

Mighty is company of the year

Local tobacco manufacturer Mighty Corporation received the Philippine Council of Management Research Institute’s (PCMRI) prestigious Outstanding Corporation of the Year award last Dec. 10, 2015 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati.

PCMRI is a federation of professional and technological societies, management developments, institutions, academe, business enterprises, and professional managers.

Recognized on the occasion of PCRMI’s 40th National Management Congress, Mighty was chosen from eight other nominees because of its outstanding achievements in the fields of economics, finance, agriculture, business and industry, e-commerce and IT, strategic management and economy of scale, leadership and governance, adherence to nationalism and anti-monopolism, and social, cultural and religious activities that impacted on the country and society. Mighty president Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan (ret.) received the award.

The company was awarded for continuously inspiring about 293,000 families and employees, business and trade partners by adhering to its mission, vision and core values.

Here is how one newspaper described Mighty’s road to success:

“In 1945, Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy, and Ong Pay set up La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., which had it first factory in Tayabas St., Manila. The second factory was built in 1948 in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and in 1951, it acquired the present site of its head office.

“In 1963, Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) in a nine-hectare property in Barrio Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan which became the site of their manufacturing operations.

“The succeeding years became difficult for the company but Wong Chu King, with the help of his family and employees, reestablished the company in 1985 to become what it is today. Mighty Corp. is one of the country’s largest taxpayers and is known for its strong sense of ethics.” (www.manilatimes.net)

Mighty is the only wholly Filipino-owned local tobacco company as well as the oldest cigarette manufacturer here.  It currently is the second largest cigarette company in the Philippines in terms of market share.

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ACIRC ALIGN BAND COMPANY FREQUENCY LEFT MHZ MIGHTY NTC QUOT WONG CHU KING
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