Globe Telecom Inc. said it fired up three cell sites in the municipalities of General Luna, Pilar, and Dapa in Siargao.
The move paves the way for more tourists from different parts of the country and the world to learn about Siargao as well as promotes financial inclusion and business growth in the island.
“We know that a lot of people in Siargao are looking for better connectivity. The topography of Siargao is quite challenging — a large area, quite hilly, and the population is spread out so its very expensive to put up a cell site in Siargao. However we also know its potential given the beauty of the place and its commitment to sustainable tourism,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.
He added: “With these three new cell sites, we bring data services to the island so that tourists can share their Siargao experience to the rest of the world. We are laying down fiber so that businesses can have better internet connection to aid them in the digitalization of their operations. Since Siargao lacks banks, we enable financial transactions through the mobile phone using GCash. This is just the start, there are more coming up,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.
Globe spends about 45 percent of its annual income on telco infrastructure, with the belief that providing data services is the first step towards true progress. Thus, Cu implored local government officials in Siargao to help expedite the release of permits for site acquisition and establishment of cell sites if Siargao is to become an important player in the Philippine tourism industry.
“The local government units are a major component of our efforts to bring connectivity to the communities. Let us make Siargao an example so that all of these impediments to building infrastructure in this country will go away. We will bring our services to the people because we believe Globe can change people’s lives. We are already doing that through connectivity and financial inclusion, among others,” he said.
Cu pointed out the perennial problem being encountered by Globe in the deployment of cell sites in the country. From negotiations and documentation of prospective cell site location to securing structural permits and approvals, Globe estimates an average of eight months and over 25 permits before it can build one cellular tower.