MANILA – An official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said Dito Telecommunity Corp. has yet to submit a proposal on the building of cell sites in military camps.
AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement Sunday the co-location of Dito is still subject to scrutiny and checks even when there is a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in September last year allowing the firm to put up cell towers in camps.
“No number yet of cell sites to be put up or in which camps. Dito Telecommunity, Inc. is yet to submit their proposal for the AFP to vet and concur upon,” Arevalo said.
“The intent of the MOA to allow Dito to colocate their facilities in AFP camps is necessarily subject to situations and limitations unique in every military installation,” he added.
Arevalo said there is a “tedious process” that is required and the AFP’s concurrence, as the host, would have to be secured first.
Some lawmakers and groups have opposed the move, saying the cell sites could be used by China for espionage.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said all Dito equipment and facilities would be placed in locations where local carriers Smart and Globe are also located, based on a similar MOA signed by these telecommunications firms.
Dito was conferred with the status of new major player in the telecommunications industry by the National Telecommunications Commission on November 19, 2018.
Based on the MOA between the AFP and Dito, specific locations with its rental value will be determined for use of the firm in the installation and management of its communications sites without undermining the operations of AFP units.
Dito is also required to “furnish all equipment, labor, and materials necessary to effect the colocation of its facilities and shoulders all expenses in connection with or incidental to the co-location” and payment of all taxes, permits, licenses, and other charges. (PNA)