The government has approved the construction of 1,502 new cellular towers or sites around the country but 428 other applications remain pending, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday night.
Año, during a meeting with members of the Cabinet and of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases convened by President Duterte in Davao City, said a total of 1,930 applications filed by different telecommunication firms have been pending in different local government units.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) made an inventory of the pending applications after the President learned fromexecutives of Globe Telecom Inc. the delay in issuance of permits caused by the voluminous documentary requirements and long processing time for applications to build towers had prevented telcos from rolling out their network expansion projects that would in turn improve their services.
Año said the close to 2,000 telcommunication applications were filed by Touch Mobile and Globe , Smart Communication and Dito Telecommunity Corp. in 55 provinces and 25 cities.
“The 1,502 applications were approved and only 428 are pending application and we will monitor this to make sure there will be no delay…In the next weeks, we will monitor the pending applications and make sure that they are approved, if not, we should know why it was not approved),” he said.
Año said the processing time and documentary requirements had also been reduced to hasten the construction of the needed cellular towers to improve mobile and internet services in the country.
He said the processing time for permits and other documentation had been reduced to 16 days from 241 days while the required permits had been cut down to eight from 19 permits. Needed document requirements were also reduced to 35 from 86.
The President said a “delay of 200 days” in the construction due to the processing time is “totally unacceptable.”
Duterte met Globe Telecom president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu shortly after his state of the nation address in July where he gave the telecommunication companies until December to improve their services.