MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said it will now take less than a month to secure government permits to build telecommunication towers in the country.
The DILG made the announcement following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to improve digital infrastructure in the country and to cut down the requirements and processing time for building permit applications in government agencies.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that the new timeframe is shorter than the previous six to seven months of permit processing time.
He said the development follows the signing of a joint memorandum circular (JMC) between the DILG, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and other agencies, streamlining documentary requirements and processing time for building permit applications on shared passive telecommunication tower infrastructure (PTTI), also known as common telecommunication towers.
“Dati po inaabot ng 200 days yung pag-apply ng permit. Dito po sa bagong JMC namin kasama ang lahat ng ahensya at mga local government units (LGUs), sabay-sabay na ang pag-process, makukuha po lahat ng permit in less than a month,” Año said.
“Dati po kailangan ng home owners association resolution, kailangan pa ng sangguniang bayan resolution, ngayon, wala na po ‘yan. Di na po ‘yan kailangan. Lahat po ng steps na nagpapabagal sa proseso ay inalis na natin,” he added.
Año said that under the memorandum, LGUs and national government agencies shall only require documents stipulated in the circular and are prohibited from requiring anything else from applicant network providers.
He said that among the reduced requirements are: barangay clearance; documentary requirements for building permit applications on common towers such as Unified Application Form for Locational Permit, Fire Safety Evaluation Certificate, Building Permit, property documents (owners/authorized occupants of Registered/Untitled lands, authorized occupants of registered land), and select ancillary permit and accessory permits requirements.
LGUs must also adhere to the minimum processing time enforced through the JMC.
“According to the memorandum, the prescribed processing time for construction-related permits for common towers shall be counted from the date the complete application was submitted to the concerned agency,” the DILG chief said.
He said that in seven working days, the locational clearance, barangay clearance, Fire Safety Evaluation Certificate from the Bureau of Fire, and Building Permit shall be issued all together, exclusive of the period of appeals.
If the LGU is without a Comprehensive Land Use Plan and is unable to issue a Location Clearance, Año said that the applicant may secure said Location Clearance from the regional office of DHSUD within seven days. Height Clearance Certificate shall also be issued within seven days.
He also said that application for locational clearance, barangay clearance, Fire Safety Evaluation Certificate, and Building Permit shall proceed without need of a written consent from home owners association or the condominium owner, among others.
If the Shared PTTI or common tower is proposed to be located on a privately-owned land within a residential subdivision, the telco shall certify that there is no other available or suitable site within the coverage area.
The DILG chief said that with this development, telecommunication companies such as Globe Telecom, PLDT/Smart Communications, and third telco player Dito Telecommunity Corp., can now address the public clamor for improved telecommunications services especially during the global pandemic where millions of people are working from home.
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