MANILA -- Local government units should act on the applications for permits of telco firms to build cell towers within three days, Malacañang said Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte sought better connectivity services by the end of the year.
Duterte, during his fifth State of the Nation Address, threatened to shut or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in December.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque urged city councils nationwide to act on the application for permits of telco firms within three days so that the construction of cell towers can be fast-tracked.
"Panawagan po sa lahat ng konseho sa Pilipinas, kung kayo naman po ay hindi kasali sa MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), kinakailangan po aktuhan lahat ng applications ng mga telecommunication companies within 3 days," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(To all councils in the Philippines, if you are not under MECQ, you should act on the applications of telecommunication companies within 3 days.)
Duterte, in a meeting last week, said telecommunications companies should report to his Cabinet officials the local government units hampering the building of cell sites in the country.
In a televised address, Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu told the President that it takes about 28 to 30 permits and over 8 months to build just one tower.
The permitting woes are on top of miscellaneous fees collected including tower fees and special use permits, Cu said.
The Anti-Red Tape Authority meanwhile has formed a special task force to identify priority areas for the construction of cell towers in the country, and to ensure that "streamlined permitting processes" are observed.