Abalos vows to speed up issuance of communication tower permits

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos vowed to initiate measures that will expedite the issuance of permits for telecommunication towers of the 2,086 applicants in the local government units (LGUs) to speed-up interconnectivity.

He said the public is in dire need of a much improved internet connection to facilitate their daily transactions adding that the lack of towers is most likely hampering its connectivity.

Abalos acknowledged that some LGUs may have concerns in connection with the application for permits to construct towers but insisted that this should be investigated to get to the root of the problem.

The DILG chief also called on the LGUs to put in place the digitalized systems in issuing various permits like barangay permits and business clearances in line with the government’s goal on the ease of doing business.

Abalos added that the DILG aims to provide additional funds to 45 percent of the country’s cash-strapped municipalities referring to fifth and sixth class towns that comprise 19 percent of all the municipalities in the country.

“If you include the fourth class (municipalities), that would be about 45 percent of all municipalities more or less,” Abalos said.

“We start efforts to increase funding for support programs and equity funds for lagging or for LGUs that find it difficult to complete the devolution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abalos said that the DILG plans to build more fire stations, saying there are only about 205 of them nationwide with ‘volunteers’ filing in the deficiency. (Chito A. Chavez)