GOCCs, local gov’ts ordered to speed up processing of telco permits
MANILA -The government has mandated that permits related to construction of telecommunication and internet infrastructure be processed within seven days in a bid to speed up the rollout of networks supporting connectivity across the country.
This is according to the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2023-01, which outlines the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) 32, otherwise known as “Streamlining the Permitting Process for the Construction of Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure.” The copy of the circular was made public on Friday.
The IRR covers all government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local governments engaged in issuing permits and licenses for the construction and repair of telco infrastructure.
Unified application form
“Building permit applications with complete documentary requirements shall be acted upon by the different offices at the OSCP (one- stop shop construction permits), functioning as one unit, within a nonextendable period of seven working days from the date the application was received,” the IRR noted. Previous reports noted that processing usually takes months, thus delaying projects.
To standardize permit applications, a unified application form will be used by the applicants. The IRR also lists requisite documents for applicants, including architectural permit, sanitary permit, plumbing permit and accessory permits for ground preparation, excavation and erection of scaffolding.
The government employees receiving the application documents will “immediately inform the applicant or the requesting party of any deficiency in the accompanying requirements.” The receiving officer must enumerate all the missing documents for the ease of completion on the part of the applicants.
The IRR also instructed all cities and municipalities to set up one-stop shops for construction permits of the active infrastructure such as antennas, antenna systems, transmitters, transmission systems, radio frequency modules, channel elements and other radio-communication systems.
The facility will assist applicants in processing applications, receiving payments and issuing approved licenses, clearances, permits or authorizations.
In addition, the IRR provides for the creation of a technical working group (TWG) comprising the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Anti-Red Tape Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highway and the National Telecommunications Commission.
The TWG is tasked with monitoring the implementation of IRR, making sure the rules are being observed across local governments.
To recall, EO 32 was signed by President Marcos in July to simplify the permitting process for the internet and telco infrastructure amid the heightened demand for digitalization.