Globe wants faster issuance of permits for telco facilities
Globe Telecom is calling for the amendment of the Local Government Code to expedite the issuance of all relevant permits for all telecommunication facilities at the local level.
According to Globe Chief Information & Technology Officer Gil Genio, bureaucratic red tape causes a significant delay in securing various permits from the local government units when it comes to the construction of telco infrastructure such as cell sites.
Genio said that there aren’t enough cell sites to enable telco operators such as Globe to sufficiently support mobile data growth in the country. In comparison, the Philippines only has 16,300 towers compared to Vietnam’s 70,000 towers. It also takes at least 8 months to complete the approval process for the construction of one cell site, involving at least 25 permits.
Homeowner associations (HOA) is one of the 25 permits that telcos need to secure to build a cell site. According to Genio, close to 30 villages and subdivisions have rejected cell site proposals made by Globe due to alleged health risks associated with cell site towers. Genio emphasized that Globe cell sites have been issued radiation-safety certificates by the Department of Health, meaning such facilities do not pose any adverse health impact.
Genio also mentioned that the absence of standard fees among LGUs breeds corruption, as tower fees range from Php5,000 – Php200,000 depending on the LGU.
Globe says that it has a backlog of 3,000 cell sites amid varying degrees of permitting issues despite aggressive efforts to invest in network facilities.