IRR issued for telecoms and internet infra development

The government has issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to streamline the process of construction of telecommunications and internet infrastructure in the country, Malacañang announced recently.

Executive Order (EO) 32 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr last July 4, 2023, institutionalized a set of streamline guidelines for the issuance of permits, licenses, and certificates for the construction of telecommunications and internet infrastructure, including those relating to the installation, repair, operation, and maintenance of such facilities.

The EO also mandated the creation of a technical working group composed of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Anti-Red Tape Authority, National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to formulate the necessary rules and regulations within 60 days.

Under the IRR, a unified application form will be adopted and preformatted form building permit applications shall be prescribed in all cities and municipalities in the country.

Those applying for a building permit shall be required to submit property documents, technical documents, height clearance permit, and homeowners association clearance, together with the unified application form.

To secure a Certificate of Use and a Business or Mayor’s permit, applicants should submit the following, among others: certificate of completion, construction logbook, photocopy of valid licenses, photograph of structure, yellow card/clearance form electrical service provider, an copy of As-Built Plan reflecting changes and modifications.

The IRR also set the requirements for the erection of poles and construction of underground fiber ducts, cable layout on existing poles and other physical infrastructure, as well as the operation, repair and maintenance of passive telecommunications tower infrastructure building including distribution facilities.

The IRR also includes the rules for securing clearances from other government agencies and local governments adoption of EO 32.

It mandates all cities to set up a One-Stop Shop for Construction Permits, preferably at the Office of the Building Official, which will provide frontline services to applicants securing building permits and other certificates related to telecommunications and internet infrastructure.

The IRR also prohibits anti-competitive activities and directs agencies and local government units to implement zero-backing policy in all application for permits and clearances under the EO.

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