1,171 permits for new telco towers approved: DILG

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    INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday night reported that 1,171 permits for the construction of new telecommunications towers nationwide, which could aid in improving mobile and internet services in the country, had been approved by local government units (LGUs) in the past week.

    In a report to President Duterte, Año said the construction of the additional towers is timely given the growing demand for better mobile and internet service, especially with the start of online classes in public school on Monday.

    He said that with the approval of more than 1,000 permits, only 428 more needed to be approved. He said they are mostly new applications for permits and clearances.

    Año said the LGUs had been complying with the orders of the President to fast-track the process of releasing permits and clearances for the construction of cell towers to boost the telecommunication companies’ cellular and internet services.

    He said the application process had been shortened to 16 days and the required documentations had also been reduced to make it easier for telecommunication companies to comply.

    Año added the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) also provided a provision for the “automatic rollout of telcos in the construction of PTTIs or Passive Telecom Tower Infrastructure,” which waived several requirements asked from the telecommunication companies.

    He said with these changes in the processes, telecommunication companies no longer have a reason to delay the improvement of their services.

    Duterte had earlier given the telecommunication firms until December to improve their services or he would either shut them down or expropriate them.