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Gov’t issues IRR for streamlined permitting process for telco, internet infrastructure construction

Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

A technical working group composed of different government agencies has issued a joint memorandum circular setting the rules and regulations of Executive Order (EO) No. 32, otherwise known as “Streamlining the Permitting Process for the Construction of Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure.”

“These Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) are hereby promulgated and issued as Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2023-01 to guide all concerned departments, offices, agencies, and stakeholders, in the implementation of EO No. 32,” the memorandum read.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. issued EO No. 32 on July 4 this year to institutionalize a set of streamlined guidelines for the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates for the construction of telecommunications and internet infrastructure, including those relating to the installation, repair, operation, and maintenance of such infrastructures.

The EO mandated the creation of a technical working group (TWG) composed of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to formulate the necessary rules and regulations within 60 days.

Under the IRR, unified application form will be adopted, in which, preformatted form building permit applications shall be prescribed in all cities and municipalities in the country.

Those applying for a building permit shall be required to submit property documents, technical documents, height clearance permit, and homeowners association (HOA) clearance, together with the unified application form.

To secure a Certificate of Use and a Business or Mayor’s permit, applicants should submit the following, among others: certificate of completion, construction logbook, photocopy of valid licenses, photograph of structure, yellow card/clearance from electrical service provider, and copy of As-Built Plan reflecting changes and modifications.

The IRR also set the requirements for the erection of poles and construction of underground fiber ducts, cable layout on existing poles and other physical infrastructure, as well as the operation, repair and maintenance of passive telecommunications tower infrastructure (PTIIs), including distribution utility facilities.

Rules for securing clearances from other government agencies and local government’s adoption of EO No. 32 were also spelled out in the IRR.

It mandates all cities to set up a One-Stop Shop for Construction Permits, preferably at the Office of the Building Official, which will provide frontline services to applicants securing building permits and other certificates related to telecommunications and internet infrastructure.

The IRR also prohibits anti-competitive activities and directs agencies and LGUs to implement zero-backlog policy in all application for permits and clearances covered under the order. | PND

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