Globe Telecom Inc. last week said its network expansion program is now in full swing after getting permits from local government units (LGUs) in several parts of the country.
The telco giant said it already secured permits from LGUs in Northern and Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to build more towers to help improve its services and mobile connectivity.
The new Luzon cell sites will be located in Agoo in La Union and Vigan in Ilocos Sur, as well as in Sto. Tomas and Batangas City in Batangas.
In the Visayas, the new cell towers will rise in Toledo City, Cebu. For Mindanao, Globe’s aggressive rollout in the region will happen in Butuan City in Agusan Del Norte; Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur; and Cagayan De Oro City in Misamis Oriental.
“We are very grateful for the support being given by these local government units. As we have pointed out many times in the past, Globe is an ally of LGUs, especially during this time of the pandemic, as they look for ways to better serve their constituents in the new normal,” says Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice president for program development, network technical group.
He adds that the “network expansion will only push through as long as our partnership with them (LGUs) continues to remain strong and will be of great benefit to the public in general,” Agustin said.
It can be recalled that President Duterte, during his State of the Nation Address last July, he warned the two big telcos that he will sit down with Congress and find ways to kick them out of the industry should the two telecommunications firms fail to improve services within the year.
Globe assured the President, however, that they have already allotted about $1.2 billion for capital spending this year to finance network and capacity expansion.
Aside from securing permits, Globe announced that 25 LGUs have eliminated the need for a Sanggunian Bayan resolution when applying for permits so that telcos can now expand their network in their areas. The Sangguniang Bayan resolution is just one among many mandated permits totaling 29 that telcos need to build a single cell site.
Among these LGUs are Magalang in Pampanga; Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; Cabanatuan and Nampicuan in Nueva Ecija; Santa Maria and San Mateo in Bulacan; Cauayan, Luna, Cabatuan and Ilagan in Isabela; San Jose, Tarlac; Sto. Tomas, Cuenca, Lipa, Taal and San Jose in Batangas; Las Pinas; Morong, Baras, Perez, Tanay and Cardona in Rizal; and Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental.
Globe lauded the LGUs’ efforts to expedite permit issuance and cutting red tape, which hopefully will allow telcos to build more cell sites and cell towers to improve connectivity.
The company noted that positive developments are also happening in Bangued, Abra; Dasmarinas, Cavite; and in Cebu City in support of its expansion builds.
Globe said it is also optimistic it can increase its capacity with the recently signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01 s. 2020 or the “Streamlined guidelines for the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates for the construction of shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure.”
The circular will help cut down processing time of permits for telcos that seek to build towers down to approximately 16 days from the previous average of eight months across national government agencies (NGAs) and LGUs. The number of documentary requirements will also be trimmed to a low of 35 from the previous high of 86.
Other government agencies who were part of the signing of the JMC were the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Transportation-Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Department of Health-Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.