MANILA—Globe Telecom has commended the support extended by five local government units (LGUs) in Visayas and Mindanao for telco companies to set up cell sites that would improve mobile services in their respective localities.
Globe general counsel, Atty. Froilan Castelo, said these cities are Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Mandaue, Bacolod and Dumaguete.
In Cagayan de Oro, the city government’s telco committees are drafting a resolution to reduce from 26 to six the number of permits for the establishment of cell sites. A meeting has been set this month for an update on the status of the resolution.
Davao City could expedite the installation of communications facilities so long as prerequisite permits are in order.
The local government of Mandaue City likewise expressed full support for Globe Telecom’s deployment of new cell sites by fast-tracking the permit process. The city governments of Bacolod and Dumaguete also expressed their commitment to the company’s initiative to roll out additional cell sites within the city.
“We are deeply grateful for the support afforded to us by the local governments in Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Mandaue, Dumaguete and Bacolod cities. We’re optimistic that other LGUs will follow suit as we desperately need the government, both at the local and national level, to empower and enable the sector to undertake infrastructure builds, not just in the construction of cell sites but also in establishing underground facilities and in facilitating pole attachments,” Castelo said in a statement.
He reiterated that there are not enough cell sites to enable telco operators to sufficiently support mobile data growth in the country amid growing clamor for faster Internet service.
Bureaucratic red tape causes a significant delay in securing various permits from the LGUs concerned relating to the construction of telco infrastructure, such as cell sites and related facilities necessary to improve customer experience, particularly in mobile data. The Philippines has only about 16,300 cell towers, compared to Vietnam’s 70,000 towers.
Aside from permitting issues at the local government level, exclusive and gated villages or subdivisions also prevent telco providers from installing facilities to provide services in their areas. Globe has a backlog of some 3,000 cell sites amid varying degrees of permitting issues despite aggressive efforts by the company to invest in network facilities. It spends close to 30 percent of its revenues, significantly higher than capital expenses by other operators in the Asian region, to fast-track improvements on the state of Internet in the country.