AMENDING a 92-year-old law could hold the key to propelling the country into a tech-ready future, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told reporters on Wednesday that he agreed that the Radio Control Law of 1931 is outdated and should not be allowed to celebrate its centennial in 2031.
Balisacan thus thinks the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) should include this in the priority bills to be crafted by Congress.
“There are so many opportunities that we are losing because of these legacy problems. Can you imagine that, radio control law?! Colonial din ’yung PSA na in-amend natin, eh. But hopefully we can get things done,” Balisacan said.
Ahead of its inclusion among priority bills, Balisacan said, “I want to get more data so that we can present to the Cabinet, to the President, to the Ledac, the urgency of doing this.”
USAID Better Access and Connectivity (Beacon) Consultant Scott Minehane explained that a spectrum is an electromagnetic wave comprising both electric and magnetic fields. He said it is not only related to telecommunication but also aeronautics, the maritime industry, and even microwave technology.
Minehane said it is considered a national resource that is also a non-exhaustible natural resource that needs to be managed. He said it can be reused by dividing into frequencies, time, angle of arrival, polarization, geography, and users.
In a forum presentation, Minehane said that, compared to its peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), only the Philippines has a spectrum law that is older than 1999.
Apart from the amendment of the law, Minehane said the Philippines should disperse more International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum allocations intelligently and sustainably and as soon as possible.
Minehane said allocating more IMT spectrum will allow the country to extend wireless connectivity such as to 6G, which is expected in 2030. An expanded IMT spectrum will allow for future allocations beyond 6G.
Further, he said, there is a need to balance higher spectrum allocations through improvements in infrastructure investment. This should include geographic extension of access network reach in rural and regional areas.
These reforms will pave the way for new and upcoming services beyond mobile broadband. Some of these new use cases include wearables such as smart watches, wearable medical devices, and low-end AR/VR glasses, video surveillance, industrial sensors, smart grids, etc.
The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) said the Radio Control Law of the Philippines created the Radio Control Division in the Bureau of Posts under the general supervision of the Secretary of Commerce and Communications. It was signed into law in November 11, 1931.