Press Release
June 3, 2020

during the period of amendments on "Bayanihan to Recover As One Act" bill

Sen. Grace Poe: Now next, on cell towers, and I mention this because the President himself is serious about encouraging a hybrid sort of education modality; but in many places signal is really bad, so I think it's, when we say infrastructure, the first thing that comes to our mind is actually roads and bridges but it could also be other things, especially, when it comes to connectivity. So, on cell towers, on page 15, line 19, after the word infrastructure, insert the words 'particularly additional cell towers.' Section 3 (HH) shall now read as follows: 'undertaking measures in partnership with appropriate internet and communication service providers in the acceleration of the deployment of critical information and communications technology infrastructure, particularly adding cell towers, equipment software and wireless technologies, etc.' And the rationale behind this is that infrastructure can mean anything. We need to specify that additional cell towers are a priority because it is key to better internet access in the country. The Department of Information and Communications Technology already raised the lack of infrastructure citing that only about 20,000 towers have been built compared with Vietnam's 70,000. We thus need 50,000 additional cell sites. We need as many towers as we can which are compliant to safety and environmental standards. So, that's the rationale behind this. Just so we can give a final push to that very important initiative from the government if we are really serious about having better internet speed and clarity. That's all, Mr. President, thank you.

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