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Duterte to telcos: Identify, report officials delaying cell site permits

By: Krissy Aguilar - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ - Inquirer.net | July 31,2020 - 03:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte urged telecommunication companies to report to his Cabinet members those involved in delaying the processing of permits for building cell sites / towers.

“Alam mo ‘you can ask [Senator] Bong [Go], or [Finance Secretary] Sonny Dominguez or the generals, kay [Interior] Secretary [Eduardo] Año. Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto,” Duterte said in a taped address aired Friday.

(You can ask Senator Bong Go, Sonny Dominguez or the general, Secretary Año. You can report to them directly.)

“At ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan na tayo. This is my last mile, I make no apologies about it kung anong nagawa ko o anong mali ko,” he added.

(My order to the Cabinet is to take the most drastic measure that you can find so we can finally understand each other.)

Duterte issued the order after Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu, who was present at the meeting, told the President that it is costly to secure permits and that it takes about eight months to build one tower.

The President, during his fifth State of the Nation Address, warned Smart and Globe of expropriation if services do not improve by December.

But in jest, Duterte warned Cu he would hang him in one of Globe’s cell towers if no improvement in services will be made.

“Si Ernest Cu sa presidente ng Globe, siya mismo, kasi sabi ko, pag hindi mo pa na-improve yan, I will you hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, ‘Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower,’” Duterte said.

(Ernest Cu, the President of Globe, I told him that if he does not improve, I will hang you in one of your towers. He told me, ‘Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower.’)

In the same meeting, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said various government agencies have signed an agreement to streamline requirements in the construction of cell sites / towers.

From 200 days, Año said they are eyeing to shorten the period in securing permits to 16 to 20 days.

“Sixteen to 20 days po ang target para yung lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” Año said.

(The target is 16 to 20 days for all permits to be processed.)

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