There appears to be a conflict in claims by a telecommunications company that local government units were slow in acting on permits for construction of cell towers.
This after the regional office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) disclosed on Friday that based on its inventory, there are no pending applications for the construction of cell sites of telecommunication companies—Globe and Smart
—in the entire Davao Region.
“Starting on August 6, 2020, amoang gikuha ang inventory kay usa sa mga rason nga gisulti sa mga telcos nga hinay ang atong mga local governments sa pag-respond sa ilahang mga applications for building of towers. Now nakuha namo ang initial reports on the inventory of towers available sa tibuok region ug tibuok Pilipinas,” said Alex Roldan, regional director of DILG 11 in a virtual presser on Friday.
Telecommunication giants, Globe and Smart, were in “hot water “when President Rodrigo Duterte, during his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 27, 2020, called out the companies’ attention for their lousy services. The President even threatened to shut down their operations if they fail to improve their services by December 2020.
In a statement, Globe stated that challenges remain and cited the long drawn permitting process across local government units (LGUs), homeowners associations (HOAs) and national agencies including the Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have hampered building of cellsite and laying down of fiber to homes.
“Dinhi sa Region 11 namatikdan nako sa mga reports nga gikan sa field, ang mga existing operators such as Globe and Smart wala na sila’y pending applications for new towers,” Roldan said.
Roldan said this also signifies that LGUs in Davao Region have completed procedure of applications of these telecom companies without delay.
“Kadtong applications sa karaan na mga telcos walay pending na mga applications sa atong mga LGUs, buot pasabot nahatag na ni tanan ug walay ingon nga pending kay basin isipon nga ang mga LGUs maoy naglangay-langay,” he said.
Roldan said one telecom company that has pending application for cell site construction in Davao Region is DITO Telecommunications.
“Ang naa lang pending nga application sa pagka-karon mao lang ang third telco na DITO,” he said.
DITO has recently unveiled its new tower in Braulio E. Dujali, Davao del Norte. The tower is part of 170 towers to be installed in the entire country. It is expected to begin its commercial operations by March 2021.
The company committed to serve around 25 to 27 megabytes per second (mbps) to about 30 percent of the whole population in the entire country for its first year of operation. It is also currently building cell sites throughout Mindanao.