There should be no more delay and failure in the construction of cell sites across the country now that the government is already speeding up their processes, Sen. Grace Poe said Monday. The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services said she expects the telecommunications companies to be able to fast-track the construction of the needed infrastructure with the whole of government supporting and streamlining of permitting processes. Our countrymen have been hoping for strong and consistent signal and internet amid the pandemic),” Poe said in a statement.
Poe reminded anew national and local government units (LGUs) to “strictly follow” the Ease of Doing Business Act which prescribes the processing time for the approval of applications for licenses and permits. Failure to strictly comply with the law may render them liable criminally and administratively, she warned. In the case of LGUs, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) may also initiate the investigation and, if warranted by the evidence, file a case with the Ombudsman. The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) created under the Ease of Doing Business Act may also do the same, she proposed. The senator reiterated the urgent need for more cellular towers to meet increasing demand since public and private operations and transactions have shifted online amid the pandemic.
She particularly pointed out that it “is a must for the millions of students and educators.” Last July, President Duterte ordered telcos to improve their services or otherwise face expropriation should they fail to do so by December this year. The DILG assured that they will do their part and go after LGUs that fail to immediately act on pending applications from telcos.