DICT launches online portal for common tower registration
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has recently launched an online portal for common tower registration.
As provided by the Department Circular No. 008 and 011 series of 2020, the new system eases the application process for registration of Independent Tower Companies (ITC) to operate one or more common towers. The Common Tower Registration Portal requires applicants to fill out the form, as well as attach the complete required documents and submit them online. To qualify for the registration, applicant ITCs should have at least the relevant construction experience, registration, license, and financial capacity of, or equivalent to, a contractor falling under Category A or higher of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board. Applicants may check more details about the application here.
Previously, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año shared with President Duterte during a televised Cabinet meeting that 1,502 out of 1,930 permits submitted to 80 LGUs have been approved. This is due to the release of a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) that streamlines the processing time of necessary permits for cell tower applications from various local government units (LGUs) and government agencies. From 241 days, telcos can now get the permit within 16 days.
The memorandum also orders LGUS to approve permits and clearances within seven days. As stated in Section 10 of R.A. 11032, applications that are not approved within the prescribed period will be deemed automatically approved.
Currently, DILG is monitoring the remaining 428 pending applications. On the other hand, DIC has received letters of intent from 13 other tower companies, 70% of which are foreign-owned. Leading telcos Globe and Smart will be building about 20,000 towers combined, while DITO has 1,300 towers in various stages of completion.
For 2020, the number of cell towers has increased by 6,000 which gives the Philippines today a total of 23,230 towers. Last February 2019, the country only has 17,000 towers.