A total of 3,669 applications for construction of communication towers were approved and processed by local government units (LGUs), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday night, Oct. 6.
In a briefing with President Duterte, Año noted that 860 pending tower applications are now being rushed for approval, citing the importance of the infrastructure towers in the communication process especially in the students’ online distance learning.
Earlier, the President ordered the LGUs and other concerned agencies to facilitate the approval of the communication line applications.
In his July 27, 2020 State-of-the-Nation-Address (SONA), Duterte warned the telecommunication firms that they will be shut down in December that year if they fail to improve the delivery of their services.
Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu met the President three days later to explain that the lack of cell sites are the reason for poor signals of the communication lines.
In the said meeting, Cu noted a telecom company needs to get 28 to 30 permits for one cell tower with the process taking around eight months.
To address the problem, Año earlier said that the DILG, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) together with the other national government agencies (NGAs) have agreed to streamline the documentary requirements and processing time for building permit applications on shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure also known as common telecommunications towers.
With the signing of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC), Año explained that this will do away with the resolutions from the homeowners’ associations, city and municipal resolutions and all other processes that delay the acquisition of the permits.
Meanwhile, in the implementation of the Prevention, Detention, Isolation, Treatment and Rehabilitation (PDITR) plus vaccination strategies, Año revealed a much expeditious contact tracing process.
Currently, Año disclosed the deployment of 134,700 contact tracers in 38,723 Barangay Health Emergency response (BHERT) teams.
“Maganda na po ang ating ginagawa sa contact tracing, 94 percent po ng (COVID-19) cases ay nate-trace natin within 24 hours at 91 percent po ng mga positive ay naa-isolate naman natin sa loob ng 24 hours (We are doing well in our contact tracing, 94 percent of the cases are traced within 24 hours and 91 percent of the positive cases are placed in isolation within 24 hours),’’ Año maintained.
The DILG chief added that at present there are 283,711 medical personnel and 68,107 support staff of the LGUs that are deployed to assist in the government’s vaccination program.
With regards to the implementasyon of the National Vaccination Program, Año said that based on the reports of the LGUs 48,788,021 Filipinos are now eligible and have been identified in the priority groups.
In the case of the vaccination of the uniformed services, Año noted that 144,064 (64 percent) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) men are fully vaccinated while 21,604 (65.96 percent) Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel and 13, 755 (73.16 percent) Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) workers getting completely inoculated. (Chito A. Chavez)