THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is requiring all public telecommunication entities and internet service providers to submit business continuity plans to ensure uninterrupted services during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the greater dependence on the industry by workers performing their duties remotely.

In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the NTC’s directive also aims to “address the increased demand for information and communication technology (ICT) services.”

“The reports on the business continuity plans are expected to be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner of the NTC on or before April 17, 2020,” the DICT added.

The department said the NTC intends to “boost efforts at maintaining the operation of vital ICT services and supporting infostructure as the administration extends the ECQ until the end of April 2020 to manage the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) threat.”

Multinational technology company Zoho Corp. Vice-President and General Manager for Asia Pacific Gibu Mathew told BusinessWorld in a recent e-mail that the crisis highlights the importance of contingency measures including insurance, a risk management team, and a comprehensive recovery program.

Asked if Philippine companies are taking business continuity planning seriously, he said: “Instead of a proactive one, many companies are taking a more reactive business continuity planning approach in dealing with business challenges.” — Arjay L. Balinbin