ARTA head clarifies approval provision of EODB Law
The chief of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reminds stakeholders and local government units (LGUs) that under Republic Act No. 11032, applications with LGUs which are not processed within seven working days are "automatically approved by operation of law."
ARTA director general Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica issued the reminder in an e-forum in response to recent issues reported in media of red tape in the processing of applications for the construction of telco towers with LGUs in the past.
ARTA, together with several partner agencies, signed on July 23, 2020 the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the Construction of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs).
The JMC aims to streamline requirements and reduce procedural delays in securing the necessary permits, licenses, clearances, certificates, and other requirements in the construction of telecommunications towers. Specifically, the JMC reduces the process of securing permits to install common telco towers from 241 days to just 16 days to address connectivity issues in the Philippines, especially in unserved and underserved areas.
In response to the issue on red tape, Belgica reminds everyone that under RA 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (EODB Law), "applications that are submitted with the local government units, the national government units, and even barangays only [have] a seven working day processing time." Thus, he said, "all applications that are not processed within that seven working days or not acted upon within that seven working days [are] automatically approved by operation of law." This means, he continued, that RA 11032 "shifts the burden now to government agencies to raise or to question the submitted documents or to question the completeness of the submissions that you submitted before a government agency."
Previously, it was the applicant who needed to prove that he had submitted the documents, "but because of the automatic approval provisions of the law, through this 11032, the government agencies are now given a strict seven days to raise any concerns… otherwise, it is automatically deemed approved by operation of law."
He further stressed, "Your applications are already approved… even without this JMC. Pati yung mga local government Sanggunians that could actually sometimes hijack the entire process are only given 20 days to act on an application. Failure to act on an application for 20 days by a Sanggunian automatically is deemed approved na rin ang iyong application."
Belgica discussed the details of the streamlined guidelines for the issuance of permits and licenses for the construction of PTTIs at the UPPAF-RESPOND's 6th SCAN Network Hubs E-Forum. --- Philexport News and Features