Globe Telecom has signed an agreement with the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines (LVGP) to facilitate the deployment of vital ICT infrastructure, particularly in unserved and underserved communities in the country, by rationalizing and streamlining the permit process for cell sites that could see the turnaround time reduced from eighy months to under two weeks.
Under the agreement, vice governors committed to provide support for the deployment of telecommunication facilities within their capacity as presiding officers of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in their respective provinces.
Globe said the agreement follows its calls for rationalization of the permit process for cell sites and other telecommunication infrastructure. Requiring at least eight months and 25 permits to put up one cell site results in considerable delay in the deployment of telecommunication facilities. Globe itself has a backlog of around 3,000 sites amid difficulties in securing permits from various local government units, homeowners’ associations, and other government agencies.
LVGP members have committed to ensure reasonable fees equivalent to the cost of regulation of ICT infrastructure in relation to the process of reviewing ordinances passed by municipalities and cities in their respective provinces. They also committed to:
- Advise and encourage cities and municipalities to have a turnaround time for the issuance of permits and licenses of not more than 10 days from the submission of all requirements
- Exempt ICT infrastructure installed in agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial areas from zoning clearances
- Enact a uniform ordinance prescribing the barest minimum documentary requirements and that no more than three signatures shall be required for such permits.
The LGVP also committed to identify which government owned or controlled areas may be possible installation sites for ICT infrastructure, to be co-located or leased by Globe, and to encourage cities and municipalities to do likewise.
In addition, the group will also urge cities and municipalities to deploy their respective ICT infrastructure, such as fiber optic networks and communication towers, at their cost and expense to be leased by Globe, and to provide the necessary assistance for the acquisition of permits and licenses for the deployment of ICT infrastructure in priority areas identified by Globe.
For its part, Globe committed to provide free Wi-Fi service in cities and municipalities compliant with the provisions of the agreement, as well CCTV cameras or computer software or hardware, and free internet service in select schools and public institutions or other high traffic areas such as city halls, terminals, and other LGU-owned areas with potentially high Wi-Fi usage.
Under the agreement, Globe will be in charge of identifying areas to prioritize for the deployment of ICT infrastructure and the provision of technical assistance to provinces, cities, and municipalities for the deployment of their respective ICT infrastructure to be leased by Globe.
“ICT is rapidly changing the way that companies conduct business and the government delivers services. This agreement shows that we are one with League of Vice Governors in our desire to develop the ICT capacities of communities and businesses,” said Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu.