Telecommunications companies will no longer face difficulties in implementing their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructures in the country as the processing guidelines for the permits they need have been streamlined.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy said that on July 5, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. already signed Executive Order (EO) No. 32 aimed at simplifying the permit acquisition process and expediting their issuance.

Based on the EO, no other national or local permits or clearances will be required for the construction of telecommunications and internet infrastructures, except for the building permit issued by the Office of the Building Official, height clearance permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), homeowners and other community clearances, clearances from other government agencies when applicable, and other requirements mandated by the Constitution and existing laws.

The order also states that all covered applications not acted upon within the prescribed period as provided in existing laws shall be deemed approved, provided that the requirements have been met and the fees have been paid accordingly. Additionally, local government units will establish one-stop shops for construction permits to expedite their ICT infrastructure-building services.

Due to this recent development, Uy expressed gratitude to President Marcos for supporting the initiatives of the DICT that aim to foster inclusion and bridge the digital divide.

“The issuance of EO 32 is a crucial step in our goal of attaining a digitally inclusive nation. As we pursue the streamlining of requirements for the construction of telecommunications and ICT infrastructure, we have removed the roadblocks that impede the provision of safe and reliable connectivity to all Filipinos. I would like to thank our beloved President, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. for issuing this landmark measure,” Uy said.

President Marcos Jr. issued the EO to expedite the process of applying for permits for the construction, installation, repair, maintenance and operation of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTIs) and the erection of poles and installation of aerial and underground cables, underground fiber ducts, and other passive infrastructures.

The EO was a joint recommendation by the Private Sector Advisory Council Digital Infrastructure and the Anti-Red Tape Authority as a significant step towards achieving the President’s promise of universal connectivity.

“This measure will be a vital component in ensuring that no Filipino will be left behind in this digital age. Through the deployment of shared PTTIs and other ICT infrastructure, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, we are supporting our beloved President’s vision of deploying digital connectivity across our islands,” Uy added.

The EO likewise created a Technical Working Group on Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure as an oversight body to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the measure.

The DICT will lead the said TWG, with representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Anti-Red Tape Authority, and the National Telecommunications Commission, an attached agency of the DICT, as members. The DICT-led TWG on Telecommunications and Infrastructure was also tasked to craft the implementing rules and regulations of the Order within sixty days from its effectivity.