8 September 2022 – Following intervention from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), an Internet Service Provider (ISP) secured the approval of a Municipal Mayor to build a telco tower after waiting for two years.

In a letter dated 30 August 2022, Southwoods Cable TV Broadband Network Inc. President Cecilia La Madrid Dy and Chairman Estrellita Juliano-Tamano thanked ARTA for its service.

“With the considerable investment we put in, our business could not afford the years in the delay of our operations, so we reported to your office early this year. After three consecutive zoom meetings finally we got the approval,” the letter read.

“In view of the foregoing, we would like to express our enormous appreciation to your office for your immediate action in our favor. More power in pursuit of great service to the nation,” it added.

The Southwoods Cable TV officials shared that they were awarded a provisional authority by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to operate cable TV and internet in San Pedro, Laguna in 2019.

The ISP immediately secured a business permit. However, the Engineering Department of the San Pedro, Laguna LGU halted the company from laying their fiber optics cable, saying that they first have to secure the approval of the Municipal Mayor.

With their case pending for two years, Southwoods Cable TV sought ARTA’s help. After just three meetings, the ISP secured the needed approval from the municipal mayor, allowing them to continue building their telco tower.

Telecommunications is among the five priority sectors in ARTA’s flagship National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-Related Agencies (NEHEMIA) Program. Under the said sector, ARTA led the drafting of three Joint Memorandum Circulars that aimed to streamline the processes and requirements in setting up telecommunications towers and poles.

The said three issuances paved the way for the decrease of the number of needed permits from 13 to eight, documentary requirements from 86 to 15, and length of time for processing from 241 days to 16 days.

It has also led to the release of a record-breaking number of permits in the telco sector. As of December 2021, a total of 68,711 permits for three major telco companies have been released.