“The problem of telcos is that they do not have enough towers because they cannot get permits from the local governments. But under the Bayanihan Act 2, all permits have been suspended except for the building permits,” said Carpio in a webinar of the Philippine Bar Association last September 18.
“So, they need only one permit which is good for three years. There is this window of opportunity. They can build all the towers that they want now and that will solve the problem of speed and availability of boundaries,” he added.
Telcos have blamed red tape for the slow pace of contructing towers needed to ensure faster, reliable and broader mobiel and date services in the country.
They are required to fill up 29 to 35 documentary requirements and permits needed before a tower can be built, from residents’ consent to barangay certificate to mayor’s permit.
Lawmakers suspended these requirements under Bayanihan 2.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reported that 23 tower companies have been granted provisional certificates to participate in its accelerated tower program.
The Philippines needs over 50,000 towers to improve mobile connectivity in the whole country. Permitting timelines have also been limited to two weeks by drastic reforms in the permitting process.