The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it is eyeing to cut by 52 percent the Common Tower Permitting requirements this year to expedite the roll out of more cell sites nationwide.
“Since last year, we have been working on streamlining the permitting for Independent Tower Companies (ITCs). We are looking into cutting down redundant or duplicitous permitting requirements for ITC’s to reduce the number by more than 50 percent, and at the same time, reduce the average processing days,” Rey Caintic, DICT assistant secretary for Digital Philippines said.
This is in compliance with Title V, Sections 20 to 25, or the Permitting Process for the Construction and Operation of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs) stipulated in the recently issued Department Circular No. 8 or the Shared PTTI Policy, and with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 which seeks to streamline current systems and procedures of government services.
DICT is actively collaborating with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and other government agencies in ensuring streamlined permitting requirements and procedures for Independent Tower Companies (ITCs).
“We would like to thank ARTA for their continuous support and assistance to the DICT in making sure Barangays, Local Government Units (LGUs), National Government Agencies, and Homeowners Associations (HOAs) follow the mandated maximum time period for the issuance of necessary permits, clearances, and certifications as provided under Section 15 of the EODB law,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
“With streamlined procedures, we expect to speed up the roll-out of common towers which will help us achieve our overall objective of enhancing wireless network coverage and the quality of ICT services across the entire country,” he added.
A Joint Memorandum Circular for streamlining the issuance of permits is expected to be signed among the DICT, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) within the next months.
The DICT earlier said the Philippines would need at least 50,000 cellular towers to have the proper coverage and provide adequate service to the Filipino consumers.
The Philippines has around 16,000 towers, covering 8,000 locations at present.