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Biz Buzz: Resisting Globe’s solution


09:00 AM July 22nd, 2013

By: the staff, July 22nd, 2013 09:00 AM

One would think that the upper crust of Philippine society living in Makati’s super-exclusive villages would have no problems with the services of Globe Telecom Inc. given that Makati is the traditional stronghold of the Ayala-controlled firm.

But Biz Buzz has learned that the residents of Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village have some issues … which they aren’t willing to let Globe solve, quite oddly.

In recent months, the Makati elite in these villages have complained of weak Globe signal, especially in the evenings. Upon looking into the complaints, the telecom firm found out that these residents were some of the heaviest users of Globe’s data services (mostly high-speed broadband services) that causes Internet speeds to slow down and voice services to weaken during peak hours.

Globe’s solution was to install what it called Outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems (Odas), which are basically mobile or temporary cell sites to boost the signal for certain areas. But the residents would have none of it, since many of them fear the ill-effects that the increased radio frequencies would have on their health (an argument similar to the electromagnetic field, or EMF, controversy associated with high tension power lines).

Globe argues, however, that even the World Health Organization had said that the microwave radio frequencies that one would be exposed to from these cell site antennas were much less than those from a mobile phone.

Apparently, this isn’t enough to sway the Forbes and Dasma residents who continued to block efforts of Globe to put up these Odas solutions (except for Urdaneta Village, whose residents have permitted its installation in the park, resulting in significantly improved signal).

Some Globe-friendly residents, we hear, have allowed the telecom firm to install facilities within their properties, which are activated only at night, during peak hours. But a wider solution remains elusive, no thanks to residents’ reticence.

So do they want a solution or not?—Daxim L. Lucas

Where’s the steel?

A couple of weeks ago, Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Arabe roasted some members of the Philippine business community for not using much steel even while the Philippine economy was the fastest-growing in Asia.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, for his part, also said the Philippines had no real steel industry of note. However, he told investors that even if the country did not have a steel industry, the Philippines has many skilled welders, making it attractive for investors to enter the local shipbuilding industry.

So what’s hampering the development of the local steel industry? One word: smuggling.

According to our sources, a certain Cebu-based importer of steel products—whose company name starts with the letter “J”— has been the subject of numerous smuggling complaints, blatantly violating customs regulations.

Apparently, the steel industry can’t grow with the prevalence of smuggling, and with the likes of Company J continuing to smuggle there will be no steel industry. By eliminating or solving problems like Company J, there will be a Philippine steel industry.—Daxim L. Lucas

New Firm

CPA-lawyer Euney Mata-Perez, president of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines, has teamed up with colleague Gerardo “Gary” Francisco to establish a new law firm. The new legal hub Mata-Perez & Francisco, anchored on these partners’ 40 years of combined law practice, is envisioned to be a full service firm with a strong corporate, tax and litigation practice.

Both founders are alumni of the Ateneo Law School and at some point in their careers, had worked at SyCip, Salazar, Hernandez & Gatmaitan. Mata-Perez, the managing partner of the new firm was salutatorian of her law class at Ateneo Law and an accomplished transaction and tax counsel to various blue-chip corporations. Francisco, who also graduated with honors from Ateneo Law, obtained a master’s from the Columbia University School of Law and is also admitted to the New York State bar.

Among those in the roster of clients of the new firm are Holcim Philippines Inc., Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., Padma Funds from Indonesia, RFM Corp., Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., Star Tollways Corp. and South Luzon Tollways Corp.—Doris C. Dumlao

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