An upsurge in the number of permits issued by local government units to telecommunication companies has been cited as the direct cause of the more telecom towers and other infrastructure improvements in the Philippines.
The significant increase in granted permits itself been observed as the direct result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement in July 2020, when he proclaimed the permit process would be streamlined and made more efficient.
The numbers speak for themselves: in 2019, only 1,636 permits were issued for telecoms, but in 2020 a total of 6,451 permits were granted. Year-on-year, it’s a 294-percent increase. In 2021, specifically from January to April, 2,789 permits have been issued so far.
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Because of the increased permits, the number of towers built have increased as well. The year 2019 saw a total of 1,746 towers built. In 2020, it was 4,337, equivalent to 148-percent year-on-year increase. For the first four months of 2021, 1,672 towers have already been built.
Fiber-optic networks in the Philippines have also improved, with a total of 846,323 cable-kilometers laid out as of April 2021.