Homeowners in exclusive villages in Metro Manila have opposed Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima’s proposal to penalize associations that block the building of cell sites within their subdivisions.

“Attorney Salalima should be reminded that he is no longer the chief legal counsel of Globe Telecom,” the Dasmariñas Village Coalition Advocating Radiation Emission Safety (Dasma Cares) said in a statement on Monday.

Residents from Magallanes Village and Forbes Park in Makati City, and La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City also joined the call of Dasma Cares against radiation exposure.
They are opposing their respective village associations’ plans to put up outdoor distributed antenna (ODA) systems on their sidewalks.

ODAs are designed to distribute cellular signal within an area. They are installed in densely populated areas instead of a single cell tower to enhance wireless reception.
According to Dasma Cares, EMF radiation from cell towers and ODAs has been classified by the World Health Organization as category 2B or possibly carcinogenic, the same category to which synthetic insecticide DDT, lead and exhaust fumes belong.

“Dasma started with four ODAs in 2008, now we have 55 to 57. And yet do we have better signal? No. We still have to go outside our [houses] to [get] good signal. But we are being radiated involuntarily 24/7,” Betty Dante Aw of Dasma Cares said in a press briefing.

Members of Dasma Cares maintained that no genuine consultation or referendum was called before the ODAs were installed. They added that leasing the sidewalk was prohibited under the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations (Republic Act No. 9904).

“We are not against technology,” Aw said, adding, “They should think of new solutions that will not endanger the health of the whole citizenry. They should spend on modern infrastructure and not insist on old solutions.”

“Technology and huge profits should take a back seat to consumer health,” the group said.

Metro Manila