Año: 2,200 telco permits approved, 712 pending

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    GOVERNMENT has approved applications and permits for the building of 2,220 telecommunication towers and stations, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday night.
    Año, in a report to President Duterte, also said 712 applications for telecommunications permits are pending.

    “Mula po noong pinag-utos ninyo ‘yung mabilisang approval ng mga telcos sa application — mula po noong pinag-utos ninyo ay 2,220 na po ang na-approve (Since you issued the order to hasten the approval of telecommunication application — since you issued the order, we have already approved 2,220 applications),” he said.

    The President has ordered Año to look into the issuance of permits by local government units following complaints that many requirements, tedious process, and slow action of some agencies and LGUS added to the delay in the construction of towers and stations.

    Duterte has given telecommunication companies until December this year to improve their services, especially with the high demand for mobile and internet services due to the work from home arrangements and online classes.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the National Telecommunications Commission would determine if there have been improvements in the services of telecommunication firms.

    Roque also urged the two telecommunications firms – Globe Telecoms and Smart Telecoms – to submit to government a list of towers and stations they had put up since the issuance of permits was expedited

    Personally, he said he does not see any major improvement in mobile services and he believes that President Duterte himself has experienced, and is still experiencing, poor mobile services in the country.

    “I would like to invite both companies to submit to us, iyong mga bagong towers na naitayo na nila and I really want them to commit kung kailan sila magkakaroon nang mas mabuting serbisyo (I would like to invite both companies to submit to us, the list of new towers that had been built and I really want them to commit as to when there would be improved services),” he said.