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Red tape hampers cell site builds, Rio says

Former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio blames red tape as the reason that hampered telecommunications companies (telcos) from building common towers and cell sites in the past two decades. Rio’s response came after President Rodrigo Duterte warned telcos of expropriation if they fail to improve their services by December.

Rio added that the permitting process normally takes around eight months and another four months to construct the cell site. Presidential Legislative Assistant Jacinto Paras, however, denied such allegations, explaining that there is already an anti-red tape law and ease of doing business in place.

Despite the existence of laws against red tape, it was only on July 23 when the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), DICT, and other concerned agencies signed a circular that streamlines the permitting process for cell tower construction from an average of eight months to around 16 days. The circular also reduces the documentary requirements from 86 to just 35.

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