AN INFRASTRUCTURE FIRM is seeking a $25-million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build and operate up to 380 telecommunications towers in Visayas and Mindanao.

Documents uploaded on the ADB website showed Tiger Infrastructure Philippines, Inc. (TIPI) is seeking financing for the project, which involves the development, construction, operations, and maintenance of telecommunications towers in underserved areas in the country.

TIPI is a subsidiary of regional firm Tiger Infrastructure, which is a joint venture between a Danish investor and a Singaporean energy company.

The ADB said it will provide long-term fixed-rate project financing on a portfolio-based approach.

The ADB said the project aims to promote local economic development and improve internet connectivity that would “equalize access to the digital economy especially in areas like education, healthcare, financing and payments and mobility.

“Access to the digital economy is one of the driving forces for inclusive growth in remote underserved regions as it promotes the mobility of the population from less productive sectors to better economic opportunities and improves the productivity of many sectors,” the multilateral lender said.

The project is currently at the pre-construction stage, which includes securing tower locations and local permits.

ADB said Tiger Infrastructure had completed the acquisitions of 14 sites, as of the time of due diligence. However, it has not started site clearing and construction works.

TIPI is also seeking master lease agreements with other mobile network operators in the country to co-locate their towers.

“As towers will be established in Visayas and Mindanao, there may be sites within Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) domains. While the project is not expected to displace indigenous peoples, TIPI shall foster full respect for the IP’s identity, dignity and cultural uniqueness and ensure indigenous peoples in the area do not suffer any adverse impacts from the project,” the ADB said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson