Corruption reason for delays in constructing new cell towers: DICT

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2019 09:23 PM

DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio said that numerous permits are required before a tower could be built, and some local government units intentionally delay their issuance. File/George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

MANILA—Corruption is the main reason why the country does not have enough telecommunications towers, head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology said on Thursday. 

DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio said that numerous permits are required before a tower could be built, and some local government units (LGUs) intentionally delay their issuance.

"The No. 1 problem is really corruption. LGUs would tend to delay giving permits if there is no . . . " Rio said during a Senate hearing on the third telco. 

A Globe Telecom official earlier said that an average of 26 permits were needed before a telco tower could be built

This was the reason for the slow rollout of new towers, Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said. 

Senator Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, said the Duterte administration needs to appoint an official soon to head the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to address the issue.

"That is the key to get all this done because the director-general of the ARTA will be the one filing cases against erring government offices," Zubiri said during the same Senate hearing. 

ARTA was created through the Ease of Doing Business Act signed in May 2018 with the goal of shortening the processing time for business permits.