Inconsistent local rules continue to hinder network expansion and provision of essential telecommunication services despite the national government’s directive for local government units (LGUs) to fast-track the approval of permits to build more cell sites nationwide.
This was pointed out by Globe as it cited a recent resolution of Barangay Plainview in Mandaluyong City that prohibits the construction and operation of cell sites within its territorial jurisdiction.
In a position paper sent to Mandaluyong City Councilor Roehl B. Bacar, Globe maintained that the resolution passed by the Barangay Council of Plainview, Mandaluyong is against the law.
The company was granted by the Philippine Congress legislative authority in the form of a franchise to put up telecommunication stations, including cell sites. A cell site is a telecommunication station within the meaning of the legislative franchise granted to Globe by the national government.
“So any barangay resolution or even a barangay ordinance or even an ordinance or resolution passed and approved by a local council higher than a barangay council that conflicts with the legislative franchise of Globe Telecom is void and without effect,” said Atty. Alejandro M. Gozon, Globe Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Litigation.
“It is very unfortunate that there remain local government units that continue to deny their own communities fast and reliable connectivity at a time when people, businesses, and even government rely on the internet for work, school, day-to-day needs, and the delivery of public services,” he added.
Globe said providing telecom services is not just an ordinary activity since it is imbued with public interest. While telecom services used to be conducted by the government, they have been delegated to the private sector in the form of legislative franchises.
“This is the reason why the business activities of telcos are impressed with a high degree of public interest. This is why we are classified as a public utility company,” Gozon explained.
Globe also cited Republic Act 7925, The Philippine Telecommunication Policy Act of the Philippines and the 1987 Constitution, i.e., Article II Section 24, which categorically states the recognition of no less than the state, represented by the Republic of the Philippines, of the vital role of telecommunication and information technology in nation-building.
“We believe that the internet is the great equalizer since it can dramatically improve the quality of a person’s life with just a click of a button. It is incumbent for both the public and private sectors to work together and give access to more Filipinos, especially during these times. We urge Barangay Plainview to reconsider its decision and allow us to be a partner in providing top-notch telecommunication services in the area,” Gozon stressed.
Network upgrades and expansion are essential to improve connectivity, increase internet access, and facilitate the digitalization of Filipino businesses and homes.
Over the past year, Globe’s accelerated network upgrades and installation of more cell sites have helped improve the country’s internet speeds. For 2021, it has earmarked P70 billion in capital expenditure for the rollout of more 4G LTE and 5G sites as well as Fiber-to-the-Home.
According to the latest Ookla Speedtest Global Index as of May 2021, the Philippines ranked 77th in Mobile with a download speed of 31.98 Mbps, that’s 7 notches higher from the previous month. On fixed broadband, the Philippines is at 58.73 Mbps or a rank of 65th, 15 notches higher from the previous month.
Globe strongly supports 10 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly No. 9, highlighting the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. The company also champions the 10 UN Global Compact principles and contributes to 10 UN Sustainable Development Goals.