GLOBE APPEALS TO LGUs TO IMPROVE CONNECTIVITY
Globe Telecom has appealed to local government units (LGUs) to speed up the processing of permits for the installation of cellsites echoing President Duterte’s immediate order for the Cabinet to fast-track the process to improve connectivity and energize the economy.
Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu made the appeal on the heels of his face-to-face meeting with the President Duterte in Malacanang last July 30 where he unwrapped the problem besetting the telco industry regarding the building of cellsites .
In the said face-to-face meeting which was aired the next day, President Duterte as well as other officials at the meeting were shown documents on the tedious processes of securing permits for cellsites that take eight months to process.
Cellsites are an integral infrastructure components in faster connectivity, for which Globe Telecom is investing a majority of its $1.2 billion capital expenditures this year but its intent to fast track this infra need is premised on the action of LGUs.
President Duterte had touched in his SONA the need for faster internet connectivity which is a necessary prerequisite to revitalize the business environment that is now ravaged by the Covid 19 pandemic.
"Each year, we make massive investments in billions of pesos to make our network perform at par with other countries, “ Cu said.
“However, we can only go as far as what our existing infrastructure can give. If we want robust connectivity we really need to build more cellsites and roll out more fiber to homes. The current permitting process and fee structures simply do not allow us to do these." Cu added.
"This is a time when all industry stakeholders need to work together for the benefit of the consuming public. Connectivity is now an essential need especially during this pandemic. Let's turn a new leaf and help enable the industry to build," the Globe CEO emphasized.
During the meeting in Malacanang, the President , apprised about the hurdles in the permitting process, instructed his Cabinet officials to “take the most drastic measure you can find” to fast-track the processing of telco infrastructure permits.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año informed the President that the recently signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01-2020 from concerned government agencies will make the issuance of permits a lot easier, with streamlining of permits to reduce processing time to a maximum of 20 days.
Globe welcomed the new development and response from the President, “We thank President Duterte for giving us the opportunity to present our predicament, and for his swift action on our problem with tedious LGU permits for the construction of our cell sites.“
Cu expressed the hope that the company can get more cooperation from LGUs and HOAs. As Filipinos adapt to the new normal, having ample ICT infrastructure is particularly important to improve internet speed, increase coverage and capacity for data hungry customers. In addition, having many cellsites is critical to successfully roll out advanced technologies like 5G services in the country,” Cu said.