Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tarlac Cong Yap’s committee in Congress acts on cell towers bill

Dec 12, 2018 @ 8:33

The committee in the House of Representatives chaired by Tarlac Congressman Victor Yap approved on Tuesday a legislative measure meant to allow the transfer of cell towers of telecommunications company to real estate investment trust (REIT) corporations.

According to a House statement, Yap’s Committee on Information and Communications Technology approved House Bill 7410, in consolidation with House Resolution 938, which shall be known as the “Telecom Tower REIT Act.”

The bill is principally authored by Deputy Speaker and Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap.

The statement says that the bill mandates all telecoms companies at least five years old and above to transfer all their telecom towers to a REIT corporation, in accordance with Republic Act No. 9856 or the “Real Estate Investment Trust Act of 2009.”

Yap explained that a REIT is a separate juridical entity where real estate owners, mall owners, property owners, tower owners with assets that have recurring incomes can dispose of these assets in the real estate investment trust, and sell that REIT to the public.

Citing data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the politiko said the Philippines has one of the lowest cellular tower densities in the world, with less than 20,000 towers serving a population of 105 million.

As such, the country’s internet speed is the slowest in ASEAN, and second to the last among 22 Asian countries.

“We have about 21,000 total cell sites against internet users of around 47 million, while Vietnam has 55,000 cell sites for 47 million internet users. Malaysia has about 22,000 cell sites against 20 million internet users. China has 1.18 million cell sites against 688 million internet users,” Yap said.(END)

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