GLOBE Telecom commended at least five local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas and Mindanao for making it easier for telcos like Globe to establish telecommunication facilities, including cell sites, in their respective localities.
These city LGUs include Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Mandaue, Bacolod and Dumaguete, according to Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe general counsel.
In Cagayan de Oro, Globe said the city’s Telco Committees are working on a resolution to reduce the number of permits for the establishment of cell sites from 26 to just six permits.
Davao City is able to process expeditiously as long as prerequisite permits are in order, while Mandaue City has signified full support for Globe Telecom’s deployment of new cell sites by fast tracking processing of permits.
The city governments of Bacolod and Dumaguete have also expressed support for Globe Telecom’s initiative to roll out additional cell sites within their cities.
“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.
The Philippines has only around 16,300 cell towers compared with Vietnam’s 70,000 towers, according to Globe.
The telco said it takes at least eight to nine months to complete the approval process for the construction of one cell site, involving an average of 26 permits.
In addition, the absence of standard fees among local government units also hampers the entry of facilities in their areas. Tower fees are charged as high as P300,000 per tower every year.
Casteo said that 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 said it has a backlog of around 3,000 cell sites amid varying degrees of permitting issues.