Department of Interior and Local Governments (DIJG) Secretary Eduardo Año has revealed that local government units (LGUs) have approved over 1,000 permits and clearances for telecommunication companies to build cell towers in various parts of the country.
Año said a total of 1,171 telecommunication permits have already been approved to address the public clamor for improved telecommunications services under the Covid-19 crisis where millions of people work and study from home.
“The world and the country have gone digital. We need to have towers constructed because right now, our classes are mostly online. The 1,171 approved permits is double the that 574 approved permits we reported last week,”
Año said the LGUs have substantially complied with the order of President Duterte to fast-track the process for the construction of cell towers to boost the cellular and internet services of telecommunication companies.
The DILG chief said the application process has already been shortened to 16 days and the requirements for them have also been resuced, making it easier for telecom firms to comply. They no longer have reasons to delay the improvement of the facilities, he added.
Ano pointed out that telecommunications companies can now build critical communications technology infrastructures, including cell towers faster with the provisions of the Bayanihan 2 which has streamlined the regulatory processes and procedures to improve digital internet and satellite technology infrastructure.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said all pending and new applications for cell towers, cell sites, roll out of fiber ground, installation of poles, ground terminals, and other transmissions shall be approved or disapproved with a non-extendible period of seven days.
Currently, the country has 17,850 cell sites according to the 2019 3rd Quarter Report by TowerXChange, an informal network advisor in the market tower industry worldwide. Some 50,000 more cell towers are reportedly needed to improve telecommunications services in the country.