Duterte gives LGUs three days to act on telco tower applications

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte gives LGUs three days to act on telco tower applications

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has given local government units (LGUs) three days to finish the processing of documents of telecommunication (telco) firms who wish to build towers to improve their services.

Duterte threatened to file cases against local officials who fail to comply with his order.

"I'm telling you now, municipal, city or I do not know if the provincial board is included, if you do not release (the permit), beginning today, I'm going to give you exactly three days to report to the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), city, provincial," the president said during a televised address on Sunday.

"The clock is ticking, except on days we do not hold office. I'll count the 72 hours on weekdays," he added.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the president's remarks were related to his demand for telcos to improve the services of telcos by yearend. He noted that Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu recently informed Duterte about the problems they are encountering when applying for permits to build towers.

He said some papers are not processed because the approval has to be contained in a resolution by a local council.

"So our appeal to all local councils in the Philippines, if you are not under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine, act on all applications of telecom companies and other companies within three days because we have an anti-red tape law," Roque said.

During his fifth state of the nation address, Duterte threatened to shut down telcos if they fail to improve their services by December.    

On Sunday, Duterte vowed to run after corrupt officials and asked barangay officials to stop acting like "God."

"I will ask… I will demand your resignation if it really calls for it. I will really demand. Now, if we come to a fore, well, let's see who gets what...I am already dispensable. I can be effectively suspended... You devils, I will really run after you. You don't want to stop," Duterte said.  

"To the barangay captains, stop acting like God in your barangays. You are just a human being. I'm sure that you know nothing or little at all about governance if you are there into corruption," he added.

Duterte said he would also ask Danny Yang, a former fiscal from Nueva Ecija, to assist the government in filing charges against corrupt officials.

"You just coordinate — Danny is the name, (Interior) Secretary (Eduardo) Año, about the corruption charges that we file. I suggest that to save time, unless of course the secretary in his discretion would rather hear them administratively. You know you are a lawyer and the fastest way to do it is actually administrative proceedings," he said. 

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