MANILA - Sen. Grace Poe said she hoped President Rodrigo Duterte's approval of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2, would pave the way for better internet connectivity, which is crucial amid a pandemic.
Poe said Bayanihan 2 proposed to speed up the approval of building permits that will lead to the construction of more telecommunication (telco) towers that will be critical to internet connectivity.
"Ang problema noon ay dahil sa connection ng cell towers, kulang tayo sa cell towers. Kung ikukumpara sa ibang bansa sa Asya tulad sa Vietnam at Indonesia tayo 20,000 lang; sila nasa 90,000," Poe said in an interview on Teleradyo Saturday.
Poe, a member of congressional bicameral conference committee on Bayanihan 2, said the country needs reliable internet connection during a pandemic when many work from home.
It will also be important for students when they go through distance learning, a means to avoid getting infected by the virus.
With Bayanihan 2, the issuance of certain permits and requirements for telcos will be suspended for years.
"Dito sa Bayanihan 2 dapat ang mga telcos ay makakuha ng permit para sa pagpapatayo ng cell towers na dati tumatagal ng 1 taon," said Poe.
"Dapat within 7 days . . . ma-approve na. Ang permit nila dati nasa 18 to 20 signatures ang kailangan, ngayon mga 3 signatures lang ang kailangan para ma-secure."
The Bayanihan 2, which seeks to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, has already been ratified by the bicameral conference committee.
It now only needs Duterte’s signature to become a law.