Analyst: Govt. must help telcos upgrade services

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) – Authorities have a role in helping telecommunications firms improve services in a bid to attract investors, an analyst said Friday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines The Exchange, political and economic analyst Eduardo Araral said government must assist telcos in setting up cellular sites to boost services.

For instance, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said the Ayala-led company has been “suffering” through heaps of permits and fees through the years to construct a single tower.

“Twenty five to 29 permits, umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming mga miscellaneous fees, iba-ibang klaseng tower fee, mayroon kaming special use permit,” the Presidential Communications Operations Office quoted Cu as saying during his meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.

[Translation: We go through 25 to 29 permits in a span of eight months, then we also have a lot of miscellaneous fees and tower fees as well as a special use permit.]

“Kailangan din ayusin ng gobyerno yung mga permit na yan, ano, at tulungan din yung mga telco dahil hindi na nila kayang itayo yung mga tower kung walang tulong ang gobyerno,” Araral said.

[Translation: The government must fix these permits and help the telcos because they can’t build towers without their help.]

READ: Streamlined application rules as Duterte orders to fast-track cell site construction

In his State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte gave told the two major telcos: shape up by December or ship out, citing the inconvenience he personally experienced with Globe and Smart services, as well as that of the public.

With such remarks, telcos are among “politically risky projects” which might make foreign investors think twice, Araral said. He added that these companies also consider other factors like growth potential, taxes, skills and infrastructures as well before making a move.

Babalansehin din nila sa political risk yan bago sila gumawa ng desisyon,” he said. “But of course, this political noise creates a lot of unnecessary issues.”

[Translation: They will also balance these (factors) out with political risk before deciding.]