ICT department eyes reduced permits for common towers

(Eagle News)–The Department of Information and Communications Technology has said it was eyeing reducing Common Tower Permitting requirements by 2020.

The ICT department’s Assistant Secretary  for Digital Philippines Emmanuel Rey Caintic said in particular, the government was  looking into cutting down “redundant or duplicitous permitting requirements for (independent tower companies) to reduce the number by more than 50 percent, and at the same time, reduce the average processing days.”

The department said it started streamlining the same last year, and is “actively collaborating with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and other government agencies..”

A joint memorandum circular for streamlining  is expected to be signed among the DICT, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) within the next months.

According to the DICT, the move is in compliance with Title V, Sections 20 to 25, or the Permitting Process for the Construction and Operation of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs) stipulated in the recently issued Department Circular No. 8 or the Shared PTTI Policy.

It is also in compliance with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 which seeks to streamline current systems and procedures of government services.

“With streamlined procedures, we expect to speed up the roll-out of common towers which will help us achieve our overall objective of enhancing wireless network coverage and the quality of ICT services across the entire country,” Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said.

Shared passive facilities through the common tower policy will help cut back unnecessary expenses from the telco operators, which means subscribers can benefit, the department had said.