President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 30, 2020. // Image by Simeon Celi Jr. (Presidential photo)


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday urged telecommunication companies to report officials delaying the release of permits for the construction of new telecommunication sites or towers in the country.

“It’s really corruption. Alam mo, you can ask Bong and the business can ask Sonny Dominguez, kay — the generals, kay Secretary Año, isumbong na lang ninyo diretso at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the — ‘yang pinakamabigat,” the President told Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu during a meeting in Malacañang.

“The most drastic measure that you can find para magkaintindihan na tayo. This is my last mile. I make no apologies about it kung ano ang nagawa ko o anong mali ko. Basta ako magtrabaho lang.”

Cu told the President that it takes eight months to build a single tower. It is costly to secure permits as companies have to pay accumulated miscellaneous fees such as tower fees and special usage permits, he added.

In the same briefing, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said government agencies agreed to speed up the processing of permits.

“Ang mga LGUs at iba pang mga ahensya po ay susunod doon sa maikling panahon para ma-approve ang mga licenses, permit, at saka clearances,” Año said.

Telecommunication companies usually spend 200 days to secure a permit and Año said they want to shorten it to 16 to 20 days.

In his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte warned telecommunication companies to improve their services by December or else they face expropriation. (PND)