An executive order signed by President Marcos will hasten the construction of the telecommunication towers and speed up the interconnectivity of the local government units (LGUs) country, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr. said on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
In a statement, Abalos explained that Executive Order 32 “states that no other national or local permit or clearance shall be required for the construction and operation of telecommunications and Internet infrastructure except those required by law’’
“Usually kapag magtatayo ng telecoms tower, ang daming red tape. Because of this executive order, binawasan na ang requirements at inaasahan nating bibilis ang interconnectivity (when constructing telecom towers, there are numerous red tapes. Because of the executive order, the requirements were lessened and we expect that the interconnectivity will be quicker),’’ Abalos said.
As of Sept. 15 this year, there are 8,311 permits for telecom towers that were approved by 668 cities and municipalities, while 2,404 permits are still being processed in 229 cities and municipalities.
“Nakatutok po kami dito (acquiring telecom permits). If at any given time, bumagal ito or idelay ito, we will issue a show cause order to the LGUs (We are focused on this. If at any given time, this slows down or there are delays, we will issue a show cause order to the LGUs),’’ he added.
Abalos also assured that efforts are being continued to adopt digital or electronic facilities for business registration and renewal and for the assessment and collection of local taxes, fees, and charges as well as to shift to cashless payments pursuant to EO 170.
“We have a joint initiative with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas called Paleng-QR. Bibili ka ng gulay at pagkain sa palengke, hindi mo na kailangan magdala ng cash. Several LGUs across the country are now into cashless transactions through this system (You will purchase vegetables and food in the market and you don’t need to bring cash. Several LGUs across the country are now into cashless transactions through the systems),’’ Abalos noted.
The DILG chief stated that there is also partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on eReport which allows the police and fire stations to respond quickly during emergencies and eLGU System which covers and digitalizes a wide range of local government services.
He added that best police practices, such as Antipolo City’s red button in small stores to alert the police when there are thefts, and Quezon City’s drones for quicker police response time, are also worth replicating.
In relation to this, Abalos said the DILG has issued a memorandum for all cities and municipalities to require businesses to install CCTV systems prior to the issuance of business permits.
He bared planning to discuss with the Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to come up with just one unified system to interconnect the CCTV systems in the metropolis.
He shared that he has seen the security system and practices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Philippine government can use it as a template for future innovations.
With the President ordering the digitalized and improved business processes, Abalos cited the DILG’s efforts in building smart cities and sustainable communities in collaboration with other government agencies through digitalization, dynamic innovation, and enhancement of connectivity.
He also revealed that the LGUs are streamlining their regulatory processes pursuant to Republic 11032 or Ease of Doing Business Act, citing that when he was Mandaluyong City mayor, he immediately acted on complaints from the public if the LGU offices failed to comply with the law.