[On 10 March 2021, Malacanang issued Executive Order No. 127, expanding the provision of internet services through inclusive access to satellite services. The complete text of EO 127, amending Executive Order No. 467, is reproduced below. For easy reference, the full text of EO 467 is also reproduced below.]
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 127
EXPANDING THE PROVISION OF INTERNET SERVICES THROUGH INCLUSIVE ACCESS TO SATELLITE SERVICES, AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 467 (S. 1998) FOR THE PURPOSE
WHEREAS, Section 24, Article II of the Constitution provides that the State recognizes the vital role of communications and information in nation-building;
WHEREAS, Republic Act (RA) No. 10844, or the “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2015,” declares it a policy of the State, to (i) ensure the provision of strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness; (ii) ensure universal access to quality, affordable, reliable and secure ICT services; (iii) promote the development and widespread use of emerging ICT, and foster and accelerate the convergence of ICT and ICT-enabled facilities; and (iv) foster an ICT sector policy environment that will promote a broad market-led development of the ICT and ICT-enabled sectors, a level playing field, partnership between private and public sectors, strategic alliance with foreign investors, and balanced investments between high-growth and economically-depressed areas;
WHEREAS, under RA No. 10929 or the “Free Internet Access in Public Places Act,” it is a declared policy of the State to promote an environment for the development of infrastructure that would ensure the availability and accessibility to reliable and secure internet access suitable to the needs of the nation;
WHEREAS, Executive Order (EO) No. 467 (s. 1998) provides the policy guidelines and regulations concerning the operation and use of international satellite telecommunications facilities and services in the country;
WHEREAS, in recognition of the vital role of communications in nation-building, the government has continuously set forth policies for the promotion of advancements in the field of ICT and the universal availability thereof;
WHEREAS, in recent years, high-speed wired and wireless data networks providing interactive connection to the internet have emerged as powerful drivers of economic and social change such that access to the internet has become a basic household need for Filipinos;
WHEREAS, the government recognizes that universal access to fast and reliable internet services is vital in order for the country to join the ranks of developed economies due to the internet’s transformative impact on e-government and the delivery of basic services, the elimination of red tape, freedom of information, disaster preparedness, public safety, readiness for climate change, education for all, and inclusive growth;
WHEREAS, Section 6 fo RA No. 10929 allows internet service providers to acquire and utilize internet connectivity directly from satellites and other emerging technologies to ensure universal coverage, which when used to provide internet connectivity shall be considered as value-added services; and
WHEREAS, Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution grants the President control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices, and mandates the faithful execution of laws;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Amendments to EO No. 467. (a) Sections 1(a) and 1(b) of EO 467 (s. 1998) are hereby merged and amended to read as follows:
“Section 1. Policy and Regulation. The following policy and regulations shall govern the operation and use of satellite facilities in the country:
a. Inclusive Access to Satellite Services. Enfranchised telecommunications entities duly authorized by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Value-Added Service (VAS) Providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) duly registered with the NTC shall be allowed direct access to all satellite systems, whether fixed or mobile, international or domestic, to build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services. Broadcast service providers may also be allowed to directly access satellite systems subject to NTC rules, regulations and authorizations.”
Sub-paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of Section 1 of EO No. 467 shall be renumbered as (b), (c) and (d), respectively.
(b) Section 2 is hereby amended as follows:
“Section 2. Access to Satellite-Based Technology. The NTC shall update its regulations and expedite its administrative processes to enable VAS providers and ISPs to directly access, utilize, own and operate facilities for internet access service using satellite technologies such as, but not limited to, Very Small Aperture Terminals, Broadband Global Area Network and similar technologies, for all segments of the broadband network. It is understood, however, that VAS providers and ISPs shall comply with existing policies and requirements concerning the registration of VAS and ISP offerings and submission of their schedule of rates.”
(c) Section 3 is hereby amended as follows:
“Section 3. Definition of Terms. For the purpose of this Order and in the implementation of the above policy, the following definitions shall apply:
a. Direct Access – any one of a number of measures permitting direct dealings between authorized entities and satellite system providers at specified levels as defined by the NTC.”
(d) Section 4 is hereby amended as follows:
SECTION 2. Philippine Orbital Slot. The DICT, through the NTC, shall pursue policies to secure necessary orbital slots for Philippine satellite(s).
SECTION 3. Implementing Rules and Regulations. Within thirty (30) days from the issuance of this Order, the DICT, in coordination with the NTC, shall issue the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of the national policy for inclusive access to satellite services.
SECTION 4. Unaffected Provisions. Except for the foregoing amendments, all other provisions of EO No. 467 shall remain unchanged.
SECTION 5. Repeal. All orders, rules and regulations, issuances, or any part thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
SECTION 6. Separability. If any provision of this Order is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
SECTION 7. Effectivity. This Order shall take effect immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 10th day of March, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty One.
By the President:
SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA (sgd.)
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 467
PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON THE OPERATION AND USE OF INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS IN THE COUNTRY
WHEREAS, the State, recognizing the vital role of communication in nation building, is committed to promote the establishment of communications structures responsive to information technology of the country;
WHEREAS, the provisions of modern, efficient, and adequate satellite telecommunications facilities and services will promote the pole vaulting strategy of the government to launch the country as a telecommunications hub in the Asia-Pacific region by the 21st century;
WHEREAS, there is a need to broaden the access by authorized entities to international satellite systems and services and thereby, accelerate the attainment of the development thrusts for the local telecommunications sector;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order the adoption as a national policy, of the following policy guidance in the operation and use of satellite communications in the country.
Section 1. Policy Guidance. The following guidance and regulations shall govern the operation and use of the following satellite telecommunications facilities and services in the country:
a. Access to International Fixed Satellite Systems. Enfranchised telecommunication entities duly authorized by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to provide international telecommunications services shall be allowed direct access to all international fixed satellite systems. Broadcast service providers may also be allowed to directly access international fixed satellite systems subject to NTC rules, regulations and authorizations.
b. Access to International Mobile Satellite Systems. Direct access to international mobile satellite services shall be allowed for maritime, aeronautical and land mobile uses, subject to NTC rules and regulations. For this purpose, the DOTC/NTC shall recognize the authorization and/or certification of foreign-registered mobile units designed to access international mobile satellite systems, provided they are consistent with said NTC rules and regulations.
c. Use of Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) Earth Stations. The government shall take a permissive approach on the use and operation of SNG earth stations owned or operated by foreign news media organizations, for a limited period of time as defined by NTC. Foreign news media organizations wanting to bring SNG earth stations into the country shall secure a special NTC permit.
d. Operation and Use of Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS). The government shall allow the operation and use of GMPCS to contribute to the attainment of universal access, subject to NTC rules and regulations. In this connection, GMPCS systems shall be required to interconnect with existing terrestrial systems in a non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 59 (Guidelines for Compulsory Interconnection of Authorized Public Telecommunications Carriers) and its Implementing Guidelines.
e. Provision of Direct to Home TV Services. The government shall allow the reception of Direct to Home TV signals from content providers utilizing international satellite systems, provided the video programs thereto are authorized by appropriate government agency(ies). Equipment for the reception of Direct to Home TV signals shall be provided by duly authorized entities. Moreover, uplink centers for transmission or retransmission of video programs shall be encouraged to be set up in the Philippines, subject to existing laws and procedures formulated by the NTC.
Section 2. Policy Implementation. The NTC, in coordination with the concerned agencies and sectors, shall formulate and adopt, not later than forty-five days from the effectivity of this Order, the necessary implementing rules and regulations for the implementation of the above policy guidance, including the monitoring system for their implementation.
Section 3. Definition of Terms. For the purpose of this Order and in the implementation of the above policy guidance, the following definitions shall apply:
a. Direct Access – any one of a number of measures permitting direct dealings between authorized entities and international satellite system providers at specified levels as defined by the NTC.
b. Direct to Home (DTH) TV – a broadcasting system wherein television programs are transmitted directly to home/user receivers via satellite, thus making the reception cover not only individual(s) in their homes but other places as well.
c. Fixed Satellite Service – a radiocommunication service between earth stations at given points, when one or more satellites are used; the given position may be specified point or any fixed points within specified areas.
d. Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite – a satellite system providing telecommunications services directly to end-users anywhere in the globe from a constellation of satellites.
e. Mobile Satellite Service – a radio communication service between mobile earth stations and one or more space stations, or between space stations used by this service, or between mobile earth stations by means of one or more space stations.
f. Satellite Newsgathering – the use of either transportable “Fixed Satellite Service” earth stations or “Mobile Satellite Service” earth stations to provide temporary communications services for news media organizations covering news events such as summits, conferences or disasters.
Section 4. Policy Review. The DOTC, in consultation with the concerned agencies and sectors, shall regularly review the responsiveness of the above policy guidance and based on this, submit policy recommendations to the Office of the President.
Section 5. Repealing Clause. All Executive Orders, Administrative Orders and other Executive issuances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.
Section 6. Effectivity. This Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 17th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight.
(Sgd.) FIDEL V. RAMOS
President of the Philippines
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