Philippines Removed From Aviation Blacklist

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has “officially delisted” the Philippines from the ranks of countries “with unresolved significant safety concerns” (SSCs), the Transportation department said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

The department said an electronic bulletin issued by ICAO last March 7 stated that the Philippines “has implemented corrective actions in accordance with the mechanism approved by the council to resolve two SSCs — the issuance of air operator certificates and the aircraft registration process –and that as a result, these SSCs have been lifted”.

The notice came a week after ICAO on March 1 wrote Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General William K. Hotchkiss III that the county has successfully “resolved” the SSCs identified by the United Nations agency in 2009.

ICAO that year designated the Philippines as a “significant safety concern,” prompting the European Union the following year to blacklist local carriers from operating among members of that group.

Prior to ICAO’s designation, the US Federal Aviation Admiration (FAA) downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 from Category 1 in 2008 following an audit in 2007, which found that the Philippines was not compliant with the safety standards set by ICAO.

The ICAO’s move was a result of two audits conducted in October last year and last month.

In the same statement, the Transportation department said “the resolution of these SSCs has major implications for the economy.”

“It not only strengthens our efforts to meet international safety standards for the aviation sector, it also boosts the government’s tourism goals,” the department said.

Malaysia rejects militants’ ceasefire plea; PH should charge genocide, int’l law expert

The leader of Muslim militants in the Malaysian state of Sabah has called for a ceasefire as Malaysian security forces said they had more than 200 insurgents surrounded with no way out but the sea.

Jamalul Kiram III, the self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu, declared the ceasefire from his home in a Manila suburb on Thursday after Philippines President Benigno Aquino warned he would not allow his country to be ”dragged into war” with Malaysia.

Mr Kiram, who is facing arrest over his role in the crisis, told reporters through a spokesman his militants on Sabah would remain where they are.

”They will not take any action. They will not expand their operations,” Abraham Idjirani, the spokesman, said with the ailing Mr Kiram, 74, sitting next to him.

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”We hope Malaysia reciprocates the same call with a ceasefire”

But Malaysian Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi immediately rejected the ceasefire call.

”The unilateral ceasefire is rejected by Malaysia, unless the militants surrender unconditionally,” he wrote on Twitter.

Sabah police commissioner Hamza Taib said Malaysia’s police and army had cordoned off an area near Lahad Datu town in Sabah where they believe most of the militants are still hiding despite air and ground assaults.

”If there’s a way out it’s only by the sea,” Mr Taib said. ”However, I admit that there are challenges as we’re dealing with human beings, so they may have tricks up their sleeves.”

More than 40 people have been killed since the militants – portraying themselves as a royal militia in the service of the defunct sultanate of Sulu – arrived in Sabah on February 9, claiming they are rightful heirs to the area and prompting the most serious security crisis in Malaysia in decades.

The sultanate was an Islamic state that for centuries ruled the southern Philippines and parts of what is Malaysia’s Sabah state.

A three-week standoff between the militants and security forces escalated dramatically on March 2, when militants tortured and mutilated six policemen after an ambush in a village near the eastern Sabah coast town of Semporna on March 2.

One of the policemen was beheaded and had his eyes gouged out.

Azmi, a fisherman who lives near the village, told local journalists: ”It’s against our religion to behead anyone … it’s terrible, it’s cruel”.

The incident shocked Malaysian authorities and was the catalyst for Prime Minister Najib Razak deploying seven battalions of soldiers to Sabah with orders to use whatever force was necessary to defeat the militants, informed sources said.

The militants appear to be hardened fighters adept at guerilla tactics, raising the possibility of their links to insurgent groups in the southern Philippines such as the Moro National Liberation Front.

Those groups have often beheaded their enemies, including captured Philippines soldiers and hostages whose family did not pay a ransom.

The MNLF’s leader, Nur Misuari, has admitted some of his fighters have gone to Sabah to join the fighting. He warned Malaysian authorities not to harm the 800,000 Filipino civilians living in Sabah, many of whom work on palm oil plantations.

”Do not touch our civilians. Once you do that, that will be tantamount to declaration of war against our people and the Moro National Liberation Front,” he said.

The MNLF and Mr Kiram’s followers were excluded from a peace agreement signed last year between another group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Philippines government. Analysts say the incursion by Mr Kiram’s followers into Sabah has inflamed tensions in the southern Philippines and may scuttle the deal, which Malaysia helped broker.

Genocide. This is the crime that the Malaysian government has been committing when it launched an all-out attack to end the stand off in Lahud Datu in Sabah, claims an expert.

Llasos, who is running an independent campaign for Senate under Ang Kapatiran Party, was an understudy and protégé of University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Merlin Magallona. Llasos, also an expert on international law, issued the statement as he expressed disappointment with the way the Philippine government is handling the fluid situation in Lahud Datu.

“If Malaysian authorities are attacking a particular tribe or a particular group like the Tausug and they do it indiscriminately, affecting those who are not part of the alleged outlaws from the members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu, that is an international crime,” Llasos said. “They are committing genocide, which can make the Malaysian authorities liable under the international humanitarian laws,” the practicing lawyer added.

The Tausugs are a minority of people living in Mindanao and Malaysia who originally came from the Sulu archipelago.

Llasos noted the Aquino administration should prioritize holding Malaysian government liable instead of looking for violations that Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s followers may have committed in sailing overseas to press their claim over the disputed territory, even without the authority from the Philippine government.

He clarified Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s declaration of all-out attacks to defend its “honour and sovereignty against Sulu intruders” does not justify Malaysia’s disregard against 600,000 Filipino non-combatants already living in Sabah before the security threat occurred.

Llasos criticized Malaysia for not considering the unarmed civilians who went with Kiram’s brother, Raja Muda Agbimuddin, when its police launched mopping operations against at least 200 followers. He expressed frustration at President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s insensitivity to the cultural sentiments of Kiram’s followers, which he said may blow out of proportion.

“The cue came from no less than the president when he called those people (Tausug) as outlaws. So if they are outlaws, the Malaysian authorities will consider them as criminals and will shoot them on site,” he explained. “There is no sensitivity to the Tausug psyche and culture. The way the government is handling the Sabah issue really shows the ineptness and incompetence of this administration,” he noted.

The international law expert highlighted President Aquino’s “ignorance” about the country’s long-standing historical and legal claims on Sabah. The chief executive also ordered Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to probe if Kiram’s followers committed violations.

“The president is clueless on most of these issues. My God! He doesn’t know that as early as 1962 there was already legal study that was already conducted,” Llasos said.

During the time of former President Diosdado Macapagal, recognized international law experts – former Senators Arturo Tolentino and Jovito Salonga – have studied and documented the nation’s claims on Sabah.He is also blaming the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its failure to gather intelligence report about the planned movement from Kiram’s followers, which could have prevented the Sabah stand off.

Llasos is baffled as to why the military failed to do its job in spite of gargantuan funds that go the AFP commands in Mindanao. “That (Sabah stand off) should not have happened if there is a military intelligence from the very beginning, if the president or the government was able to detect their (Kiram’s followers) move to go to sabah,” he said.

“This government is clueless and who is the commander in chief of the Armed Forces. Second, there was no backdoor negotiation asking (the Malaysian government) to spare their lives,” he added. On Tuesday, a Malaysian government spokesperson said at least 27 people were killed after Malaysian soldiers launched violent operations against Kiram’s followers.

Malaysia’s “drastic steps” began a few hours after the ultimatum for Kiram’s followers to leave Sabah expired last week. While working as an editorial assistant at the Institute of International Legal Studies, Llasos helped publish a book entitled “The Philippines Claim over a Portion of North Borneo: Documents, Materials, and Cases” in 2003.

Philippines, A “Rising Star” in Tourism Sector

The World Economic Forum reported on Thursday that the Philippines now one of the world’s “rising stars” and the most improved Asian nation in terms of travel and tourism.
The Philippines “is the most improved country in the region,” WEF said in its “Travel and Competitiveness” report, noting the country’s “comparative strengths” in natural resources, price competitiveness, and a “very strong” prioritization of the sector.
In the WEF ranking of 140 countries, the Philippines placed 82, up from 94 in the WEF 2011 list that  covered 139 countries. “Government spending on the sector as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) is now first in the world, and tourism marketing and branding campaigns are seen to be increasingly effective,” the WEF report read, referring to the Aquino administration’s tourism initiatives and branding—“It’s more fun in the Philippines”—campaign. “In addition, the country has been ensuring that several aspects of its policy rules and regulations regime are conducive to the development of the… sector,” it added.
WEF listed better protection of property rights, more openness toward foreign investments, and few visa requirements for foreign visitors as areas where the Philippines fared well in terms of policy.
In a statement on the report’s release, WEF called the Philippines along with Panama—whose ranking jumped to 37 from 52—as the world’s “rising stars” due to “ policy improvements supporting the [travel and tourism] industry.”
The report noted the Philippines should improve on other areas to further raise its ranking.
“However, other areas—such as the difficulty of starting a business in the country, in both cost and length of the process—remain a challenge,” the report  read.
“Moreover, safety and security concerns; inadequate health and hygiene; and underdeveloped ground transport, tourism, and ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure are all holding back the potential of the economy’s competitiveness,” it added.
Last month, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said his department is targeting a bigger contribution of  tourism to the GDP and partnering with other agencies in improving travel infrastructure and policies.
The government wants to attract 10 million foreign tourists in the country. Last year, there were 4.3 million foreigners who traveled to the Philippines.
The WEF report, meanwhile, noted that Switzerland remained as the world’s most competitive travel and tourism destination in 2013.

Germany maintained its second best ranking, while Austria inched up to the third spot from fourth place.

Conceived in 1971 by European business leaders, WEF is an independent international organization that aims to engage business, political, academic and governments to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 assessed 140 economies based on the extent of  factors and policies in place to develop and make the sector more attractive.

Malaysian Hunts for Philippine Muslim Fighters After Assault

Residents leave their village in Tanjung Labian near Tanduo, where Malaysia launched an assault with fighter jets bombing the stand-off village followed by a ground assault by troops on March 5, 2013. Source: AFP/Getty Images

Malaysian security forces searched door-to-door in the eastern state of Sabah after attacking an armed Muslim clan from the Philippines that invaded last month to reclaim territory it lost more than 100 years ago.

Police moved cautiously in an area slightly larger than New York City’s Central Park to find followers of Jamalul Kiram, a Filipino who asserts he’s the sultan of Sulu. Authorities have yet to release a death toll from yesterday’s aerial and ground attacks, which came after earlier clashes between Malaysian police and Kiram’s followers killed 31 people.

“As the intrusion prolonged, it was clear that the intruders had no intention to leave Sabah,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday. “The government must take action to defend the country’s dignity and sovereignty.”

The battle on Borneo Island erupted weeks before elections in both countries, with Najib facing a late-April deadline to dissolve parliament as his ruling coalition seeks to maintain a 55-year grip on power. It also comes as Philippine President Benigno Aquino aims to conclude a peace deal with a Muslim separatist group that Najib is helping to broker.

The Philippines and Malaysia will form a naval blockage to prevent more Filipinos heading to Sabah as reinforcements, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in an e-mailed statement. An exit channel should be created for woman and children caught in the fighting, it said.

‘Fruitful’ Attack. Malaysian security forces operating in Sabah’s Tanduo village are being cautious to avoid more bloodshed, state-run Bernama news agency reported, citing Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar. Malaysia suffered no injuries, and casualties in Kiram’s group couldn’t be assessed, Bernama reported, citing Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Three F-18 and five Hawk fighter aircraft were used in the attack, Bernama cited Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying.

Agbimuddin Kiram, the self-proclaimed crown prince of Sulu and brother of Jamalul, said in an interview with DZMM radio from Sabah that he couldn’t confirm casualties. About 180 members of the group, including 30 with weapons, invaded Sabah about three weeks ago.

“There will be no surrender,” Jamalul Kiram’s spokesman, Abraham Idjirani, said at a briefing in Manila yesterday, adding that the group’s followers fear for their lives.

Peace Deal. Eight Malaysian police officers and 23 Kiram loyalists have been killed in shootouts since March 1. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario held talks with his counterpart after arriving in Malaysia earlier this week, Najib’s spokesman, Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, said by phone. In a statement yesterday, Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it considered the group to be “terrorists.”

The Sulu sultanate, which dates back to the 14th century, says it leased Sabah to the British North Borneo Company in 1878, an agreement that Malaysia views as a secession of the region. Sabah fell under British control after World War II and joined Malaysia in 1963, shortly after the sultanate ceded sovereignty to the Philippines.

The incident comes several months after Najib’s government helped Aquino reach a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a Muslim separatist group in the southern Philippines. The Moro National Liberation Front, a splinter rebel group, called the accord — which will expand the country’s autonomous Muslim region — a conspiracy between Aquino and Najib for Malaysia to retain sovereignty of Sabah.

‘Total Chaos’. “Any agreement will be problematic and will be questioned” because Sabah wasn’t included in the self-governing region, said Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace Violence and Terrorism Research. “There will be consequences on the peace talks.”

Aquino risks putting the country in “total chaos” if he orders the arrest of Jamalul Kiram, said Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front.

“It’s unbecoming for a head of state to be siding with the enemy of his people,” Misuari said yesterday. “What kind of leader are you if you abandon your own people for the sake of his friendship with colonial troublemaker Malaysia?”

Aquino tried to solve the conflict peacefully by sending intermediaries and agreeing to study the legal basis of the Sulu sultanate’s territorial claims, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said in a mobile-phone message.

“There’s only so much we can do if the Kirams insist on this course of action,” he wrote. “It defies logic.”

Copyright: BusinessWeek

Swedish firms eager to invest in the Philippines

Swedish firms are interested in investing in manufacturing in the country after a business delegation was in the country last month, the Trade department said in a statement yesterday.

A total of 12 companies from Sweden had a briefing with the Trade department to discuss investment opportunities in the Philippines.

“I believe that there is great potential for an increased bilateral dialogue between the Philippines and Sweden and strengthened business and industrial relationships,” said Head of Delegation Eva Walder who is also the director-general for Trade of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the statement.

Companies represented in the delegation were Atlas Copco Group, Celemi Systems AB, Clean Motion, Comex International, AB Electrolux, Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson, Svenska Handelsbanken AB, Ikano Group, SEK, Tetra Pak, Volvo Car Corp. and the Swedish Foreign Trade Association.

“What is encouraging for us is the heightened interest of foreign investors in the Philippines. There is a solid stream of business missions coming and we believe this as a vote of confidence in our government’s capacity to effect significant long-term structural and policy reforms,” said Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr.

He added that “strategic investments in these high-potential growth sectors, especially in manufacturing, generate employment opportunities and stimulate more development in the rural areas.”

A More Positive Outlook on Philippine Economy, Claim Polls

More Filipinos are optimistic that their lives and the economy will improve this year, as those who said their lives became better in the past year also rose, a new poll showed.

Personal and economic optimism were found to be “high” and “very high” based on results of the Dec. 8-11 Social Weather Stations survey originally published in BusinessWorld Monday.

Of the 1,200 adults surveyed nationwide, 37 percent expect their lives to improve in 2013 while only 8 percent see things getting worse. This brought the net personal optimism score to +29, up from +27 in the August 2012 survey. Net economic optimism also jumped two points to +19 percent, with 33 percent of respondents optimistic and 14 percent pessimistic.

Change in the quality of life in the past year, meanwhile, was “fair” based on results of the SWS survey. This, as 25 percent of Filipinos reported improved quality of life versus 32 percent who claimed otherwise. The ABC class as well as the “masa” or class D posted “very high” personal optimism scores of +40 and +30 respectively. Class E respondents had a slightly less rosy outlook, but personal optimism in this class remained “high” at +24.

Metro Manila respondents remained most optimistic among with “very high” scores despite a one-point drop to +35. Optimism was also “very high” at +35 in balance Luzon and “high” at +23 in Visayas. Mindanao posted a “fair” optimism score of +19, however.

In terms of the economy, “very high” optimism scores have been recorded across all classes: +28 among the ABC, +19 among the masa and +16 among the class E respondents.

Mindanao posted the lowest economic optimism score of +9 or “high” compared to “very high” scores in all other areas. Economic optimism was recorded at +21 in Metro Manila, +26 in balance Luzon and +11 in the Visayas.

The ABC class posted the highest net percentage of gainers over losers at +29 or “very high.” It stayed “fair” at +7 among the masa and “mediocre” at -17 among class E respondents.

Area-wise, meanwhile, net gainers remained “fair” in Metro Manila at -7 and in balance Luzon with a net zero. It also stayed “mediocre” in Visayas (-13) and Mindanao (-18).

DOLE lists jobs that are currently in demand

Looking for a job? The Labor department on Thursday bared there is a huge demand for workers in construction-related industries abroad, while a lot of local companies are looking for professionals.

The Department of Labor and Employment in a statement said that based on ads for jobs abroad, the demand for trade and related workers was the highest, followed by professionals, service workers, laborers and unskilled workers, plant and machine operators, officials of government and special interest organizations, technicians and associate professionals, and clerks.

Specifically, the following are the occupations with the highest demand overseas (1 being the most sought for, and 25 being the least):

  1. Electrical Technician
  2. Carpenter
  3. Pipe Fitter
  4. Scaffolder
  5. Steel Fixer
  6. Mason
  7. Welder
  8. Quality Control/Assurance Inspector
  9. Light Duty Driver
  10. Rigger
  11. Waiter
  12. Service Crew
  13. Aluminum Technician
  14. Foreman
  15. Plumber
  16. Design Engineer
  17.  Machine Operator
  18. Iron Worker
  19. Industrial Electricians
  20. Tig Welder
  21. Janitor/Janitress
  22. Mechanical Design Engineer
  23.  Barista
  24. Baker, and
  25. Room Attendant.

Meanwhile, vacancies in jobs in the Philippines are mostly for professionals; clerks; service workers; officials of the government and special interest organizations; trade and related workers; laborers and skilled workers; plant and machine operators; and for farmers, forestry workers, and fisherman.

In detail, jobs with a huge demand from domestic companies or local units of global firms are the following:

  1. Sales Professionals
  2. Accounting Officer/Accountant
  3. Mason
  4. Call Center Agent
  5. Quality Assurance/Control Engineer
  6. Cashier
  7. Civil Engineer
  8. Office Staff
  9. Engineer
  10. Mechanical Engineer
  11. Secretary
  12. Electrical Engineer
  13. Human Resource Personnel
  14. Driver
  15. Marketing Officer
  16. Receptionist
  17. Project Engineer
  18. Waiter/Waitress
  19. Telemarketer/Telecommunication Officer
  20. Project Manager
  21. Estimator
  22. Architect
  23. Instrument Engineer
  24. Recruitment Specialist, and
  25. Administrative Officer/Staff

Cebu, 8th Best Site for BPO

ITS booming business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has again gained Cebu City a place among the world’s best.

Tholons, an advisory company on global outsourcing and investments, included the city in a list of preferred outsourcing destinations in the world.

In its “Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Report for 2013”, Tholons listed the city in eighth place. This is a notch higher compared to the city’s ranking last year.

Aside from Cebu, six other Philippine destinations were included in the list. Manila is now third, moving up from fourth last year. Davao ranked number 70; Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 84; Iloilo City, 93; Bacolod City, 94; and Baguio City, 99.

Tholons ranked the cities based on the quality, availability and skills of the workers in its BPO industry, cost of operations, infrastructure, cost of living, risk profile and quality of life, among others.

According to the report, the Philippines enjoy a more vibrant Information Technology (IT)-BPO industry than either Indonesia or Malaysia.

“Based on the events of 2012, the Philippines continued to garner interest from large, Western providers, not only as an offshore delivery location, but likewise as a potential rich domestic market for IT services,” Tholons said.

In 2012, 17 new BPO companies opened in Cebu.

The Cebu Investment Promotions Center estimates that there are already about 95,000 people employed in the BPO sector in Cebu.

Upon learning about the city’s recent achievement, Mayor Michael Rama said he welcomed the inclusion of the city in Tholons list.

“That wonderful accolade will be for all of us. It was a great surprise personally for me,” he said in his regular news conference yesterday.

Philippines Gateway to Halal Market

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has cited the Philippines’ gaining popularity as a global business platform and gateway for the $632 billion halal food market.

“Halal’s increasing global popularity stems from strict cultural and religious adherence to its quality standards that make it synonymous to health and hygiene,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos.

Halal is a major component of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines which will be beld on May 16 to 19, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

CITEM is currently undertaking preparations for the forthcoming IFEX Philippines, a biennial event and the premier international sourcing hub for the finest ethnic Asian food, ingredients, and raw materials.

The event would have an entire pavilion devoted to Halal to give the industry players all the room they would need to market their products to a vast foreign audience.

Halal pertains to foods that are allowed under Islamic Law. Haram, on the other hand, refers to foods that Muslims are forbidden to consume such as pig and dog and their derivatives, carnivorous animals except animals that only eat fish, amphibians such as frogs, crocodiles, turtles, and seals, among others.

Under the Islamic Law, it is likewise forbidden to use dirty equipment during preparation, processing, and manufacturing.

This development has turned the Halal seal into an international symbol of good quality and marketability.

Halal foods are prescribed for the world’s 1.8-billion Muslims, consequently yielding a global annual market that constitutes some 20% of the world’s entire food consumption.

“In support of the Philippine Export Development Plan’s Halal Development Plan, a special participation rate for IFEX Philippines 2013 will be offered to Halal-certified companies, Halal certifiers, as well as Halal-compliant restaurants and hotels, if they exhibit,” said Gaetos.

“This development underscores CITEM’s strategy of using IFEX to help make the Philippines a leading Halal producer in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), now poised to become the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a unified regional production and trading block by 2015,” she added. (EHL)

Smart, Globe In LTE Race

Now, the race is on for the telephone company (telco) who can cover most of the country faster with super-fast fourth generation (4G) Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

Already, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has made its LTE service accessible in several areas across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as it fires up new LTE cell sites and now covers a total of 46 cities and 69 municipalities nationwide.

Smart’s latest round of expansion is “the largest and most expansive” since the telco launched the service commercially in August, 2012, according to Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services Head Lloyd Manaloto. ”Just a couple of weeks ago we said that LTE has outpaced 3G in terms of initial deployment,” he explained. “The simultaneous introduction of LTE around the country is proof of that.” Several areas in Davao City in Mindanao, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Mandaue City and Bacolod City in Visayas and Baguio City, Laoag City, San Fernando City, Cabanatuan City, Urdaneta City, Antipolo City, Olongapo City, Tagaytay City, and Dagupan City in Luzon now have access to Smart’s LTE service.

Rival Globe Telecom has also activated more LTE sites across the archipelago recently. After offering the service in Makati, Globe bolstered its LTE infrastructure in key cities of Metro Manila – Pasig City, Quezon City, Taguig, City of Manila, Muntinlupa City, as well as Cebu City and Boracay in Malay, Aklan in the Visayas.

Within these sites, the telco switched-on its LTE signal in major avenues, villages and subdivisions, business districts, upscale malls, hotels, busy commercial zones, government offices, schools, sporting arenas and hospitals. Globe wants subscribers go around contiguous areas without having to lose their LTE signal, President & CEO Ernest Cu stressed.

The telco’s LTE expansion will cover more ground across the Philippines as the first phase of its modernization nears completion and will be supported by the ongoing rollout of over 12,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable spanning the archipelago.

“We have continued to expand our LTE coverage as we focus on large, contiguous areas, instead of “pocket activations” and “hot spots” to ensure greater and more stable coverage for customers,” Globe Chief Technical Advisor Robert Tan elaborated further.