PLDT and Smart Chief Legal Counsel Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino, center, receives the award with PLDT and Smart executives. From left, Irene Hernandez, Michelle Moss, Atty. Pamela Felizarta of Regulatory Affairs and Edith Dona.

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have been lauded for their contributions to the government's efforts to streamline processes and transactions.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) cited PLDT and Smart for their "exemplary support and contribution" to ARTA's flagship program, National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficiency Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA), which is aimed at reducing the time, cost, requirements, and procedures of government transactions, especially in the telecommunications sector.

"We are proud to partner with government in realizing the goals of NEHEMIA and help improve the country's digital infrastructure," said Atty Aileen D. Regio, First Vice President and Head of PLDT’s Regulatory and Strategic Affairs. "We thank ARTA and other government agencies for espousing the interest of the telcos and paving the way for the ramped-up rollout of PLDT's fiber infrastructure and Smart's cell sites," she added.

Assisted by initiatives led by government agencies such as ARTA, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to streamline government permitting guidelines for telecommunications infrastructure, PLDT and Smart have secured more than 50,000 fixed and wireless permits as of February 2022.

These initiatives have helped PLDT and Smart in their continued nationwide network buildout to support the connectivity needs of Filipinos in the new normal. As of end-December 2021, Smart has increased to nearly 75,400 its total base stations nationwide as of end-December 2021, supporting its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G customers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi. This includes around 7,200 5G base stations. Smart's mobile network is supported by PLDT's fiber infrastructure, which was at 743,700 kilometers as of end-December 2021.

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