Cellsites Help Transform Communities in ARMM

Manila Bulletin, March 24, 2004 | Go to article overview

Cellsites Help Transform Communities in ARMM


ZAMBOANGA CITY Were ready to move! This seems to be the battle cry of the island provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which have been battered by a decades-long armed conflict that stunted economic growth.

And theyre starting to show real results, especially in terms of the availability of modern technology to promote business growth. With new investments by the countrys leading cellular telephone companies, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are catching up with the rest of the country.

Currently, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications provide cellular phone services in Bongao, Tawi-Tawis capital. Both companies also service Jolo and nearby islands in Sulu, as well as Isabela City in Basilan. Local telephone companies continue to operate in Isabela City, Jolo, and Bongao but the scattered islands in the Archipelago make land line expansion economically prohibitive.

Enter cellular phone technology, a perfect solution for Western Mindanao. Globe Telecom expects its new cellular phone sites in Panglima Sugala and Simunul in Tawi-Tawi to be operational in March. Smart Communications, on the other hand, is now operating in Siasi in Sulu and Maluso in Basilan using its newly-completed cellular sites in the two areas.

Simunuls 31,000 citizens are expected to benefit from Globe Telecoms new cell sites. This picturesque community, which is endowed with natural resources ideally suited for eco-tourism, has an established boat-building industry as majority of its inhabitants are fisherfolk. Among the attractions in Simunul is Sheik Makdum Mosque, the Philippines first mosque, built in 1380 A.D.

Panglima Sugala is composed of a number of islands; boasts rich fishing grounds which yield high-value finfish; and fertile, rich land planted to mango and copra. Its 33,000 residents will soon be sending SMS messages to friends and colleagues in the Archipelago, Western Mindanao, Philippines, Asia and the world. …

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Cellsites Help Transform Communities in ARMM
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