Vol. XX No. 48

February 07, 2001

Virac, Catanduanes


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Philippines - 5001

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Major Developments



Globe plans more cellsites here

Globe Telecom is planning to put up additional cellsites in the province of Catanduanes to enable to it to serve all of 11 municipalities in the near future.

This was bared last Friday afternoon during the inauguration of its first cellsite in the island at San Isidro Village in the capital town. The inauguration was graced by National Telecommunications Commission chief Joseph A. Santiago, Gov. Hector S. Sanchez, former Gov. Severo C. Alcantara, Globe vice president for mobile engineering Emmanuel Estrada, assistant vice president for legal services Atty. Froilan Castelo, and municipal officials. Mayor Jose U. Alberto was there before the start of the rites but left for urgent business at the town hall.

In his remarks, Engr. Estrada said the affair marked Globe Telecom's 1,147th cellsite in the entire country, compared to just 35 in 1994 when cellular telecommunications first arrived in the Philippines.

He added that the cellsite is the product of his company's Bicol expansion which began last year. He said they encountered difficulty due to the region's mountainous terrain and the fact that most of the transmitters' locations were in national preserves, which makes the DENR hesitate in granting permits.

Estrada thanked the host community and pledged Globe's help in developing Virac, saying that the cellsite indicates not only business concerns but also the development of the host community.

The Globe official also disclosed that the company has already changed the design of cellsites, which are now bigger and more spacious to accommodate expansion work easily. He said transmission lines are now being planned to cross Bondoc peninsula into Bicol so the company can offer services other than cellular communications.

For his part, Gov. Sanchez thanked Globe for bringing top-of-the-line communications to Catanduanes. Unable to resist the temptation to take a dig at archenemy Rep. Leandro B. Verceles, he said that "since 1992, some of our politicians introduced this obsolete communications like the Telepono sa Barangay, hoping that this can be utilized by constituents. They have spent so many millions of pesos out of the CDF but it doesn't materialize."

On the other hand, NTC Commissioner Santiago lauded the telecom giant for acceding to his request that a cellsite be put up in the province. He said that Globe's action means it has invested at least $300,000 or P14-million in Catanduanes."Sana matuloy na ito kahit wala na ako sa NTC," said the would-be congressman.

Another Globe official, Atty. Froilan Castelo, revealed that early upon his assumption as NTC commissioner in 1998, Santiago asked him what Globe could do for Catanduanes. He said that Globe delivered on its promise to Santiago that its cellsite here would come either in late 2000 or early 2001. He said that it was his in-laws from Caramoran as well as Santiago, his classmate in law school, who badgered him about the Globe cellsite.

"But let us give credit to the prosperity of the town," Castelo remarked. "Cellsites are put up not only for need of additional coverage but also because of business considerations."

He said that Globe saw the skyrocketing progress of Virac and neighboring towns under the stewardship of Gov. Sanchez and, to sustain the prosperity and development, the towns need first-class technology that Globe Telecom offers.

Castelo said the satellite-linked Virac cellsite is a first in the world, having been specifically designed by Globe and Nokia to withstand the worst of typhoons.  

The cellsite and its 40-meter steel tower was constructed by M. Alberto Construction under contract with Nokia and was supervised by project manager Jesse Luis L. Alberto of Lanao, Virac.


Copyright 2000 The Catanduanes Tribune