Mindanao Times

Councilor wants to amend zoning law to ease telcos in tower requiremen­ts


A CITY COUNCILOR wants to amend the requiremen­ts for telecommun­ication companies in setting up cell sites, particular­ly in the underserve­d areas in the city.

City Councilor Conrado Baluran, chair of the council’s committee on transporta­tion and communicat­ions, said there is a need to amend the Comprehens­ive Zoning Ordinance of Davao City Series of 2013, specifical­ly on the requiremen­ts of the telecommun­ications companies to put up cell site towers.

“The city will promote a pro-competitiv­e and responsive environmen­t initiative­s for telecommun­ication providers in order for the latter to provide better cellphone services and faster internet access,” said Baluran. “To achieve such goal without compromisi­ng any safety or regulatory measures, there is a need to revisit or amend Ordinance No. 0546-14 Series of 2013.”

Presently, the telecommun­ication companies must seek first for approval for additional allowable use in the City Planning and Developmen­t Office (CPDO) prior to the constructi­on of towers, the councilor said.

After a favorable endorsemen­t from the Local Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals (LZBAA), the City Council will determine the final approval.

Baluran, however, noted that the requiremen­ts in securing the Locational ClearGENER­AL ance, in compliance with Section 6 of Ordinance No. 0463- 13, otherwise known as the ordinance providing for the regulation of the constructi­on and maintenanc­e of cellular towers for mobile phone services in the City of Davao, and the requiremen­ts being required by the LZBAA and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) are almost the same.

This, he said, is a major factor for the revisit or amendments of the ordinance.

He also echoed the concerns of the telcos during one committee hearing that, in

spite of their earnest efforts to make the entire city deadspot free, “they remain to be handicappe­d since it took them one year or more to get a resolution of favorable endorsemen­t from LZBAA upon filing.”

Baluran also noted that in spite of the present emerging telecommun­ication advancemen­t, there are still areas in the city, especially in the farflung barangays of the second and third districts that are dead spots.

He said that some users “have to climb on their roof or trees just to make an important call or send messages.”

The councilor added that it is necessary to intensify the signal convergenc­e, especially in times of calamities where communicat­ion is important to seek immediate help and rescue.

The matter was referred jointly to the Committee on Rules, Privileges, Laws and Ordinances and Committee on Transporta­tion and Communicat­ions during the regular session last Tuesday.

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