By Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY: The country’s newest telecommunication firm, DITO Telecommunity Corporation, is expanding its services in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with the construction of 166 more cell sites across the region.
In a statement Wednesday, Minister Dickson Hermoso of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC-BARMM) said he recently met with representatives from the DITO firm aimed at improving telecommunications services in the region.
Hermoso and Bangsamoro Telecommunications Commission (BTC) officer-in-charge Engr. Omar Marzoc convened with DITO’s Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo Santiago and Chief Administrative and Legal Officer Adel Tamano in Davao City on October 25 to finalize DITO’s roll-out plan of setting up 166 cell sites in the BARMM from 2021 to 2023.
“Some of the cell sites in the region are already operational although not yet officially launched,” Hermoso said.
He added that while the issuance of licenses for new cell sites is still with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), their renewal would be with the BTC, one of the sectoral offices under the MOTC.
He said talks are still ongoing for MOTC and DITO’s possible areas of cooperation which will be formalized through a memorandum of understanding later this year.
Hermoso said DITO is also studying additional means, such as the use of submarine cables, to serve the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
Meanwhile, in an interview by members of the Bangsamoro Press Corps, Marzoc said BARMM is ready to help DITO’s operation in the region.
Marzoc said DITO has so far constructed 13 cell sites in Maguindanao, including Cotabato City, and two sites in Lanao del Sur as part of Phase 1 for 2021.
“For next year which is Phase 2, they will be increasing the number of sites both for Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, and for Phase 3, they are entering the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi,” he said.
(Philippine News Agency)