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ARTA issues compliance order in telco applications to 11 LGUs

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has ordered select local government units (LGUs) directing them to release all applications of telecommunication companies for the installation and operation of telecommunication facilities and services that have been completing but still pending beyond the prescribed 7-day period processing period.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said all these pending applications will be declared automatically approved by operation of law.

According to Belgica, his office has received from the telco and tower companies the list of their pending applications with complete requirements and that was fully paid which was requested during the previous consultation.

The first batch of compliance orders were sent to Puerto Princesa City and Rizal in Palawan, Miag-ao, Cabatuan, Estancia, and Leon in Iloilo, Kalibo in Aklan, Masbate City, Bulan in Sorsogon, Canaman in Camarines Sur, and San Jose in Occidental Mindoro. These LGUs we’re confirmed to have been fully paid with complete documents.

Belgica reported that SMART, more applications are being verified. Meanwhile, Globe is yet to submit their list.

To properly monitor the compliance of the LGUs with the prescribed processing period, ARTA said that all LGUs will be directed to submit a compliance report within the period of three working days from receipt of the said order. The compliance report shall contain the list of all approved and pending applications, with corresponding reasons to such pendency, as well as those requiring approval from the LGUs’ Sanggunian.

“We want to remind everyone that the submitted applications with the LGUs that have been pending are deemed automatically approved by law if unacted upon within 7 working days from its complete submission and payment of all required fees. There is no more choice for the LGUs or NGAs but to issue the appropriate permits because it was already approved by Congress itself. Refusal to follow this very clear provision of the law will lead to Admin and Criminal Cases to be filed. Kaya sumunod po tayong lahat!,” the ARTA czar emphasized.

This compliance order follows the signing of Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2020 between ARTA, Department of Information, Communications and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government,  Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Transportation-CAAP, Department of Health-Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Public Works and Highways-NBO to streamline the telco permitting process. It cuts the processing time form 241 days to 16 days only and reduces documentary requirements from 86 to 35. The JMC will take effect on August 20, 2020.

Last year, ARTA, by operation of law, declared automatic approval for 3,120 pending applications from Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board and 3,125 pending applications for renewal from FDA.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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