TELCO DEV’T. Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando Uy (center) meets with representatives of Smart and PLDT telecommunication firms Wednesday (Sept. 14, 2022). The telco officials shared with the mayor their plans to add satellite towers in rural barangays of the city. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Uy Facebook page)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The local government Wednesday it is engaged in talks with giant telecommunication (telco) firms for more satellite towers in rural barangays to improve connectivity.

In a statement, Mayor Rolando Uy said Smart Communications and its sister company, PLDT Inc., are open to partnering with the city government for the installation of the towers, saying this will also be beneficial in disaster risk reduction response.

"The (Telco) officers discussed the new satellite towers in Cagayan de Oro, particularly in the hinterland barangays. They are also open to partnership with the city government, especially in times of calamities," Uy said.

Representatives of the companies visited Uy for a courtesy call.

Based on the data from the National Telecommunications Commission in Northern Mindanao (NTC -10), the Smart firm has planned to complete 150 new cell towers in the region since last year.

Another Telco firm, the Dito Telecommunity, completed 125 out of 157 cell towers planned for the region last year.

Around 58 of the Dito towers were for this city.

An additional 47 towers were installed in the region by Globe Telecom in 2021.

Partnering with the city government is one of the few extended collaborations of PLDT and Smart in the region.

The PLDT and Smart firms earlier partnered with the Department of Tourism Region -10 through the "eBiznovation" program for its social media marketing enhancement training.

The companies have also forged an agreement with indigenous peoples communities in Bukidnon in partnership with the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute, through the Digital Farmers Program. (PNA)