Telecommunication giants Globe and Smart confirmed their commitment to broadening their respective signal reach in Palawan by putting up additional 100 towers as part of their expansion plans.
Both telcos made their confirmations last week in a presentation of their expansion plans to the provincial government.
Representative Franz Alvarez (1st district, Palawan), who is the chairman of the Franchise Committee in the House of Representatives, has initiated a move that is expected to realize what is possibly the most significant improvement in the province in recent times.
“It’s about time that these telcos become more aggressive in delivering their services to the community,” said Alvarez, who raised the issue of zero cell coverage in many parts of Palawan during the renewal of the franchises of Smart and that of Innove, owned by Globe.
He emphasized the lack of cell sites in strategic areas and the so-called missionary or low-density areas that have very few subscribers. He reprimanded the telcos for ignoring the appeal of Palawan barangays for the erection of towers in their localities that aims to boost network signal and save many Palawenyos the trouble of going to the town proper just to send a simple text message.
Globe and Smart on their part pledged to capitalize tower construction evenly in all the municipalities. However, they explained that part of the slow coverage expansion can be attributed to the permitting system of LGUs of national agencies like the DENR and NCIP.
Speaking with a sense of urgency on the matter, Alvarez charged the telcos of their responsibility as franchisees of a public utility that is supposed to contribute to the development of the countryside through a more efficient telecommunications system that will bring the ratio of cellular use at par with that of our more developed neighbors like Malaysia and Indonesia.
The telcos recently came under fire for their poor service and high text, call and data charges. The inefficiency of these providers prompted the national government to seek the entry of a third player that will compel the local companies to make major improvements in their services.
Alvarez also advised the companies to appear before the Governor and Sangguniang Panlalawigan to present their plans and seek the help of the Province in securing various permits.