More LGUS told to fast-track release of telco applications
The Anti-red Tape Authority (Arta) on Thursday said it issued compliance orders to 44 local government units (LGU), which failed to immediately release permits to telecommunication companies for the construction of new communication towers.
Of the said the affected Lgus, Arta Director General Jeremiah Belgica said 21 have already submitted the necessary compliance report covering 52 permit applications, which the agency deemed automatically
Belgica noted the other 23 Lgus, which have contested Arta’s compliance order.
“It is either [they claimed] they did not get any application [from telecommunication companies], it is still pending, or the requirements or payment for it is yet to be completed,” Belgica said in a online interview with PTV on Thursday.
The Arta chief said the agency has scheduled a summary hearing next week to iron out these issues.
Lgus, which will refuse to comply with Arta's compliance order, will face charges under Republic Act 11032 or the ease of Doing Business Law.
“If they will refuse...that is the time they could be charged, suspended, or remove [from office] if they will do it multiple times. This is the clear directive [from the President] and with the help of the DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government], we will implement this," Belgica said.
Arta said telecommunication companies have submitted to the agency 1,571 pending permit applications for the construction of new communication towers. however, Beligica said they found only 122 of the said applications are pending with Lgus.
In July the Arta signed with various agencies a joint memorandum circular that cuts processing time to 16 days, from 241 days, and reduces documentary requirements to 35, from 86, for the application of permits, licenses and certificates needed to build telco towers.
During his fifth State of the Nation Address last month, President Duterte vowed to improve the country's telecommunication services before he steps down from office in 2022.