MANILA – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has extended the validity of all existing telecommunications (telecom) and broadcast permits, certificates, and licenses issued by the agency until the last working day of the year in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In its Memorandum Order 14-07-2020 issued on Wednesday, the NTC said all permits, certificates, or licenses that are set to expire within the year will remain valid and can be renewed without penalties or surcharges until the last working day of December 2020.

“All existing permits, certificates, and licenses, to operate radio communications equipment, networks, and facilities, public (telecom), broadcast, government or private, in various radio services, expiring in the current year shall remain valid and may be renewed on or before the last working day of December 2020 without penalties or surcharges,” the memorandum read.

The extension, it said, was given due to the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly mobility issues in areas under enhanced or general community quarantine.

“Due to expediency reasons and as there are still mobility limitation issues in many regions around the country, Public Telecommunications Entities may file/submit applications for renewal of permits and/or licenses at the NTC Central Office,” the NTC said.

In a statement on Friday, Alfredo Panlilio, PLDT chief revenue officer and president and CEO of Smart Communications, welcomed the development and said that the government’s support will help in surmounting the challenges created by the pandemic.

“We appreciate this assistance provided by Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and the NTC in dealing with these difficulties created by the pandemic. Hand-in-hand with the government, we will be able to surmount the challenges presented by Covid-19 and continue improving communications services for Filipinos nationwide,” Panlilio said. (PNA)