24 February 2021 – A supplemental Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) to the “Streamlined Guidelines for the Issuance of Permits, Licenses and Certificates for the Construction of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs)” will be issued this March 2021 to include the process for constructing fiber optics and broadcast towers, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica reported to the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council during its meeting earlier today.

“Even if we are happy with the results of the recent improvement in our internet speed ranking, there are still some LGUs who are quite confused on how to harmonize the Bayanihan provisions with some of the provisions of the JMC. In order to address this, we’ve been working with the other signatories to come up with a supplemental JMC. This will also not streamline further but include the fiber optics and the broadcast towers, ” Director General Belgica said.

ARTA is now working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other signatory agencies on drafting said JMC. It is also consulting stakeholders from Local Government Units (LGUs) and the private sector.

As resolved by the Advisory Council, ARTA will also be adopting the Smart City Platform through a Deed of Donation from the Multisys Technologies Corporation. The platform will be intended for use of LGUs for their business permit and licensing system and all other government services being offered to the public. It is seen to significantly streamline the ease of doing business and anti-red tape reform initiatives of the government through its automation features and capabilities.

“The system is already here. Any LGU can be enrolled here. I think the benefit of this is the customer or user experience. He or she will be facing the computer, so the application is online. Everything is online […] the payment is online as well and then I’m registered, “Advisory Council Chair and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez stressed.

“We’re planning to do a regional campaign with DICT and DTI to bring this to the LGUs. This will be a voluntary thing for them if they would be wanting to have their own automation program. But we still remind them of the June 17, 2021 deadline on the setting of their electronic business-one stop shop, ” Director General Belgica added.

The Technical Working Group is set to undertake a deeper evaluation of the platform’s capability and efficiency including its technical features, imbedded e-bills, e-commerce, and other cost associated with its operations and sustainability prior to a pilot implementation.

The Smart City Platform is already being adopted by the City of Manila and 52 other LGUs in the operation of their one-stop shops and e-governance initiatives.

Read also: ARTA czar Jeremiah Belgica: Faster permit processing helped improve PHL Internet speed