Cell tower applications pending beyond 7 days deemed approved
The Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) said the pending applications of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications—as well as those of cell tower companies—are automatically approved if they have been left pending for more than a week. Arta Director General Jeremiah Belgica said in a Viber message to reporters on Tuesday night, adding that they had already asked the private sector stakeholders to give them a list of their pending applications.
He did not respond to requests for clarification when asked to give details about the backlog, such as an estimate of the number of pending applications.This followed President Duterte’s statement giving telco giants until December to improve their services or face severe consequences.
Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu had blamed red tape, noting that it would take 28 to 30 permits to put up a cell tower and the entire process took around eight months.
In July, Arta and other government agencies involved in the application process signed a joint memorandum circular that promised to cut the processing time to 16 days across different government agencies, and from 86 documentary requirements to just 35.
Belgica said applications were automatically approved if left pending in a government agency because of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
He said the law gave government agencies only seven days to process applications for the installation and operation of telecommunication, broadcast towers, facilities, equipment and services. —Roy Stephen C. Canivel
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