Military allays fears over telco facilities inside camps
MANILA , Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines assured the public on Sunday that there was no cause for alarm in allowing a Chinese telecommunications company to set up facilities inside military camps.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo maintained that the military establishment already has sufficient safeguards that ensure data security in telecommunications.
Arevalo told reporters on Sunday that Dito Telecommunity Corp., a joint venture with China Telecom, had “passed through government scrutiny when it comes to its fitness to do business in the Philippines.”
“When we say we are allowing them [to build facilities] in the military camps, they will not be physically colocated with our (AFP’s) communications facility,” he explained.
“Basically what we are providing is the venue where we will be able to lend them relative security and the best locations to propagate [communications] signals,” Arevalo pointed out, adding that giving them ideal locations to put up telecommunication facilities would ultimately benefit the public.
The AFP has a similar arrangement with Globe Telecom and Smart Communications so, he said, it was “not exclusive” to Dito.
Arevalo pointed out that Dito was the third telco that would address the public’s clamor for better telecommunications service.
In signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Dito, Arevalo said, “The AFP is supporting the decision of the government [in allowing the third telco to operate].”
Last week, the AFP signed a MOA with Dito, of businessman Dennis Uy’s Mislatel consortium, which include China Telecom, Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Udenna Corp., allowing the telco to install its facilities inside military camps.
Under the agreement, the AFP will identify the locations, within the military camps and installations where Dito could set up its communications facilities with the express antiespionage guarantee that all devices and equipment it would set up “shall not be used to obtain classified information.”
As payment for leasing military land for its facilities, the telco commits to provide the AFP with equipment, system upgrades, services and training commensurate to the monetary value of the rent. —Jeannette I. Andrade
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