PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) have donated a decommissioned Sun facility in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Under its C4iStar Project, the PAF is strengthening its telecommunications capabilities by interconnecting its offices and bases nationwide and upgrading its internet facilities. The donation of the tower, co-located in the PAF’s Paredes Air Station in Pasuquin, is seen to help the AFP and PAF in monitoring its operations, particularly in North Luzon.
PLDT-Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan and Air Force Commanding General Lt. Gen. Rozzano D. Briguez led the signing of the memorandum of agreement at a ceremonial turnover held recently at the Villamor Air Base.
“As a response to your request, we have donated the Smart tower in Camp Paredes, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte,” said Pangilinan, adding that the tower would help the operations of the Armed Forces and the AFP in Northern Luzon.
“Consonant with the AFP’s [C4iStar program], the PAF is understandably and necessarily improving its telecoms facilities. In that regard, I have assured the PAF that the PLDT group are prepared to support your telecommunications requirements,” Pangilinan added.
Lt Gen Briguez said that in addition to the Ilocos Norte tower, PAF is also set to deploy more radars all over the country in the coming years. “For these kind and generous gestures, you are not only expanding our core competencies, but most importantly, you are actively assuring that we shall be able to provide continuous air space surveillance,” said Briguez.
“In support of your mission to protect the people and the state, we are committed to your C4iStar project. The cell tower that we are turning over today will play an important role in how your operations are carried out in the country, enhancing connectivity across different air force bases nationwide,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.
“We have been partners with the PAF for a long time now and we have provided the Villamor Air Base, as well as the other bases nationwide with fiber. We hope that this will continue to enable the good work that you do,” Hernandez added.
Pangilinan, as chair of the Makati Medical Center Foundation, also signed with PAF leadership a memorandum of agreement on the Public-Private Partnership Program between PAF and MMC Foundation. Under the partnership, MMC Foundation and PAF will work together in providing quality healthcare for PAF personnel, in search and rescue missions, and emergency response.
This tower donation is part of PLDT and Smart’s broader efforts to support government initiatives to improve connectivity across the country.
This includes the continuous expansion and modernization of PLDT-Smart’s fixed and mobile networks, backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year, in order to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic coming from individual consumers, businesses and government offices.