DICT eyes using 'untapped funds' for common towers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2021 02:37 PM

MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology is interested in investing in common towers in commercially unviable areas, a DICT official said Thursday. 

“DICT wishes to invest in common towers for missionary sites, complete with radio access network and Internet Protocol backhaul," DICT Undersecretary for Digital Philippines Emmanuel Rey Caintic said according to the agency's Telecom Tower Watch post.

Caintic said the agency is working with the Congress for legislation to use "untapped funds" to build common infrastructure.

Another joint memorandum circular to further hasten the permitting process for cell tower infrastructure is being developed, he said. 

The country's second coronavirus response law or the Bayanihan 2 also has a provision for a streamlined permitting process for tower builds. 

DICT reiterated its call to local authorities not to delay ongoing construction projects which have already been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Common towers are expected to allow competing telecommunications providers to offer services to more areas in the country. 

Former DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said the country wants some 50,000 towers built in the next 5 years. 

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