LGUs told to issue tower permits

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    The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has asked several local government units (LGUs) to release to Smart Communication Inc. their permits to build telecommunication towers and facilities in their areas.

    ARTA director-general Jemeriah Belgica said the first batch of compliance orders were sent to Puerto Princesa City and Rizal in Palawan, Miag-ao, Cabatuan, Estancia, and Leon in Iloilo, Kalibo in Aklan, Masbate City, Bulan in Sorsogon, Canaman in Camarines Sur, and San Jose in Occidental Mindoro.

    These cover pending applications of Smart which said more are being verified. Globe Telecom Inc. is yet to submit its list.

    The compliance orders direct LGUs to release all pending license, clearance, permit, certification, or authorization applications of telecommunication companies for the installation and operation of telecommunication broadcast towers, facilities, equipment, and service which have exceeded the prescribed seven-day processing period and with complete requirements.

    Belgica has received from Smart the list of their pending applications with complete requirements and that was fully paid which was requested during the previous consultation.

    Upon validation and review, applications that will be found to have exceeded the 7-day period with all necessary requirements will be declared automatically approved by operation of law.

    The LGUs were confirmed to have been fully paid with complete documents.

    The LGUs were directed to submit a compliance report within the period of three working days from receipt of the said order. The compliance report shall contain the list of all approved and pending applications, with corresponding reasons to such pendency, as well as those requiring approval from the LGUs’ Sanggunian.

    This compliance order follows the signing of Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2020 that streamlines the telco permitting process. It cuts the processing time form 241 days to 16 days only and reduces documentary requirements from 86 to 35.