The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) thanked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its initiative to allow telecommunication companies to occupy a portion of the government’s Right of Way (ROW) as part of the government’s thrust to ensure internet connectivity throughout the country.
DPWH Department Order (DO) No. 29, series 2021, on “DPWH Policy on Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) NO. 11494, ‘Bayanihan to Recover as One Act’” now essentially streamlines procedures on approvals and lessens permit requirements from telcos.
Processing time is now also fast-tracked and telcos are accorded lesser fees in the issuance of permits.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba said: “DPWH’s move was a great stride towards providing Filipinos the much-needed connectivity especially during this pandemic.”
Cordoba added: “This indeed is a welcome development as the NTC, DPWH and the DICT signed a Memorandum of Agreement as far back as the Philippines Telecoms Summit in 2017 to address the hurdles that came with DPWH DO No. 73, series 2014 on 'Prohibited Uses within the Right-of-Way of National Roads.'
DPWH DO No. 29 allows the speedy expansion of telco services and facilities within a three-year period under RA No. 11494 on 'An Act Providing for COVID-19 Response and Recovery Intervention and Mechanisms to Accelerate the Recovery and Bolster the Resiliency of the Philippines Economy, Providing Funds Therefore and for Other Purposes.'"
PLDT, Globe, Converge and DITO welcomed the issuance of the new DO and agreed that the directive will help speed up implementation of telco infrastructure projects especially along national roads.