Globe condemns Mandaluyong barangay for blocking the building of cell towers

On Tuesday, July 6, the Globe reported that a barangay resolution in Mandaluyong City forbidding the building and operation of cell sites inside its territorial jurisdiction is illegal. To oppose the barangay resolution, Globe delivered a position paper to Mandaluyong City Councilor Roehl Bacar.

The Barangay Plainview Council enacted the resolution in question in 2019, prohibiting the building and installing cell towers, sites, and constructions. The restriction is based on “medical reports” indicating that cell towers may create health problems. The Food and Drug Administration informed the public in 2020 that cell sites are safe because they are subjected to a safety study before installation.

Globe said the Philippine Congress granted it the power to build telecommunications stations, including cell sites, in the form of a franchise.

“As a result, 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 Globe Telecom’s legislative franchise is void and without effect,” said Alejandro Gozon, Globe senior legal counsel and head of litigation.

According to the firm, “inconsistent local rules” continue to stymie the installation of critical cell sites, which might improve the telco’s service quality.

“Sadly, there are still local government units that restrict their communities’ fast and reliable access at a time when individuals, businesses, and even government rely on the internet for work, school, day-to-day necessities, and the delivery of public services,” Gozon added.

“We implore Barangay Plainview to reconsider its decision and allow us to be a partner in providing top-tier telecommunications services in the area,” Gozon said.

Globe highlighted the importance of network enhancements and extension in boosting connectivity, expanding internet access, and supporting the digitalization of Filipino businesses and homes.

Globe has set aside P70 billion in capital expenditure for 4G-LTE, 5G, and Fiber-to-the-Home rollout in 2021.

On Wednesday, July 7, Councilor Roehl Bacar issued a statement saying, “While it is unfortunate that such a barangay resolution was issued, our office will mediate and help resolve any misunderstandings between Barangay Plainview’s Council and Globe Telecom, Inc. to arrive at a solution beneficial to all concerned within the bounds of the law.”

Bacar also stated that research of relevant laws revealed that “the Barangay Resolution appears to have been superseded by Republic Act Nos. 11469 (2020) and 11494 (2020), as well as Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 (s. 2020).” He also mentioned a 2020 city resolution acknowledging national directions to improve telco utility processes.

Source

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