“The Philippines has a land area of 30 million hectares, with military installations occupying a fraction of it, maybe not even 1/10th of 1 percent of the total,” Senator Ralph Recto said in a statement.
“Dito [Telecommunity] can build their sites anywhere in this wide expanse of land – and government should help them – except in the 25 Navy bases and stations, 53 Army bases, and 17 air bases and stations, which should be declared as no-go zones for this company,” the senator added.
He noted that he is “not yet ready to fully subscribe to suspicions that having them inside these national security compounds is like letting in an electronic Trojan horse. But it is better to be safe than sorry.”
“The military is not that big a landlord whose holdings are crucial in a telco’s operations. Why insist on building on military real estate?” he asked.
“Should health and environmental rules allow it, Dito should instead explore building towers in the almost 50,000 public school and state university campuses – and pay rent in cash and in kind, the latter in free broadband for the students,” Senator Recto added.
“For 50 years now, the military has enjoyed a most-favored agency status, as affirmed in the annual national budget. It does not need a land lease sideline business to augment its budget,” he said. “More so if the tenant is 40 percent owned by a state-owned foreign com.”