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Telecom permit approvals top 900 in past month

telco-cellular tower

THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said over 900 telecommunications permits have been approved over the past month, after it ordered local governments to release pending applications.

In a statement Monday, ARTA said that 933 telecommunications permits have been approved. PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. reported that 661 documents have been released, including permits and barangay resolutions. Globe Telecom, Inc. said that 272 of its permits have been approved.

ARTA last month ordered local governments to release their list of pending permits for telecommunications towers, applying the rules of the Ease of Doing Business law to eliminate delays.

In the order, ARTA said that permit applications that have exceeded seven days from completion will be deemed approved.

The seven-day deadline complies with the law’s time limit for “complex transactions.” The law requires government agencies to observe three types of deadline: Three working days for simple transactions, seven working days for complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical applications.

ARTA sent 57 compliance orders to 49 cities and municipalities.

ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica said that he is happy that local governments and national government agencies are promptly responding to the orders.

“This shows that with a concentrated push, our government agencies are able and are willing to fast-track the construction of telecommunication towers to improve interconnectivity by Christmas this year,” he said.

Nine government agencies in July signed a memorandum circular fast-tracking permit approval for the building of shared telecommunications towers by reducing the required number of permits. — Jenina P. Ibanez