Tower firms with complete applications to get automatic approval after 7 days: ARTA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2020 09:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 06 2020 10:05 AM

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MANILA - The head of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on Thursday said companies with complete applications for building telecommunications towers will be automatically approved if local government units or agencies of the national government fail to act on it within 7 days.

“Ito po yung lahat ng LGUs, national government agencies pati barangay binibigyan sila ng 7 days lang ng ating batas,” said ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica.

Belgica said the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 01-2020 signed by ARTA and other key government agencies shortens and fast-tracks the process for tower applications.

“Kung saan yung 8 months processing time bababa na lamang sa 16 days at yun po ang bagong proseso,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN Teleradyo.

(From 8 months processing time, it went down to just 16 days. That's the new process)

He clarified that the 7 days pertains to previous pending applications prior to the JMC.

“Ang sinasabi po natin ngayon yung mga dati pong applications. Sa aming estima, yun po aprubado na rin po kaya hinihingi namin sa mga tower companies ibigay niyo sa amin ang mga applications na yan pero hindi ibig sabihin na maghihintay sila ng 7 days kung may bagong application para aksiyunan,” he said.

(This is for those with previous applications. In our estimate, that's been approved. That's why we're asking tower companies to give us these applications. They don't have to wait 7 days if they have new applications)

Belgica said tower application requirements was also reduced with the new JMC.

“Hinihingi natin ang pending applications at pwedeng i-declare ito ng ARTA, kung ito ay kumpleto na, within 3 days time pasasagutin natin yung ahensiya. Pag nakita nating kumpleto, na ide-declare nating automatically approved by operation of law,” he said.

(We're asking for pending applications because ARTA can act on these if these are complete. Within 3 days, the concerned agency must respond)

ARTA, he said, has automatically approved around 7,000 permits since last year. It also ordered concerned agencies to release the permits deemed approved otherwise face sanctions.

“Deadline natin is December. Let’s make it happen. Kailangan natin ng 50,000 towers para maging competitive,” he said.