Red tape in the government has been hampering telecommunications companies (telcos) from building common towers and cell sites in the past two decades, former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning against telcos.
Rio added that the application of permits normally takes around eight months and another four months to build the cell site. Meanwhile, Presidential Legislative Assistant Jacinto Paras denied Rio’s claims, citing that there is already an anti-red tape law and ease of doing business in place.
Despite the existence of laws against red tape, it was only on July 23 when the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), DICT, and other concerned agencies signed a circular that streamlines the permitting process for cell tower construction from an average of eight months to around 16 days. The circular also reduces the documentary requirements from 86 to just 35. On July 28, the ARTA also announced the creation of a special task force that will “monitor and strictly enforce the compliance of agencies, particularly, the LGUs.”