Telecommunications firms can now secure permits to build cellular towers within less than a month, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday.
READ: Telecom firms point to LGUs for cell site delays
In a statement, the DILG said it would now take less than a month from the previous 6-7 months to secure government permits to build telecommunications towers in the Philippines.
During his 5th State of the Nation Address on July 27, President Rodrigo Duterte directed agencies to ensure the improvement of digital infrastructure in the country.
During the President’s public address on Friday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported the DILG, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, and other national government agencies have issued a joint memorandum circular streamlining documentary requirements and processing time for building permit applications on shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure, also known as common telecommunications towers.
Philippine telcos, in response to Duterte’s ultimatum to shape up and improve on their services until December this year, complained about the time-consuming processes in securing permits to build cell towers especially from the local government units.
READ: DICT asks telcos to support common towers
But Año pointed out, “Under the new circular, the processing would be done simultaneously with the LGUs and the permit will be available in less than a month.”
Telecommunications firms like Globe Telecom, PLDT and/or Smart Communications, and Dito Telecommunity Corp -- the 3rd telco player -- can now address the public clamor for improved telecommunications services especially during the global pandemic where millions of people are working from home, according to Año.
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He is hopeful that with the signing of the new circular the telecommunications companies will seize this opportunity to improve their services.
“I hope they take this golden opportunity to further improve their service to the public,” he said.
Año said the new circular prescribed that LGUs and NGAs shall only require documents stipulated in the memorandum and were prohibited from requiring anything else from applicant network providers.
According to him, reduced requirements included: Barangay clearance; documentary requirements for building permit applications on common towers such as Unified Application Form for Locational Permit; Fire Safety Evaluation Certificate; Building Permit; Property documents (owners/authorized occupants of Registered/Untitled lands; authorized occupants of registered land); and Select ancillary permit and accessory permits requirements.
He added that LGUs must also adhere to the minimum processing time enforced through the new circular.
He said in seven working days, the locational clearance, barangay clearance, Fire Safety Evaluation Certificate from the Bureau of Fire, and Building Permit shall be issued all together, exclusive of the period of appeals.