MANILA – More than 3,600 permits and clearances to build cell towers filed by 10 telecommunications companies have been approved by 492 local government units (LGUs) across the country, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday night.
Speaking to President Rodrigo Duterte during his Talk to the People, Año said a total of 3,669 telecommunications tower permits have been approved while 860 pending applications are being rushed for approval.
“Ang natitira po ngayong pending applications ay 860 na mga towers po na pipilitin nating ma-approve kaagad para makatulong po ang mga infrastructure towers na ito sa ating komunikasyon lalong-lalo na po na ang ating mga mag-aaral ay gumagamit ng ang sinasabi nating online education (There are 860 pending applications and we are working for their immediate approval in order to help improve communications, especially for students who are engaged in online education),” he said.
Duterte earlier ordered LGUs and other concerned agencies to facilitate the immediate approval of applications for telecommunications towers.
The DILG, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) together with the other national government agencies (NGAs) have agreed to streamline the documentary requirements and processing time for building permit applications on shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Año said as part of the Prevention, Detention, Isolation, Treatment, and Rehabilitation (PDITR) plus vaccination strategies, a total of 134,700 contact tracers have been deployed across the country.
“Maganda na po ang ating ginagawa sa contact tracing, 94 percent po ng (Covid-19) cases ay nate-trace natin within 24 hours at 91 percent po ng mga positive ay naa-isolate naman natin sa loob ng 24 hours (We are doing well in our contact tracing, 94 percent of the cases are traced within 24 hours and 91 percent of the positive cases are placed in isolation within 24 hours),’’ Año said.
The DILG chief added that 283,711 medical personnel and 68,107 support staff of the LGUs are currently deployed to assist in the government’s vaccination program.
Meanwhile, Año said based on the reports of LGUs, a total of 48,788,021 Filipinos have been identified as eligible for vaccination.
On the vaccination rollout of uniformed personnel, Año noted that 144,064 police personnel, 21,604 firefighters, and 13,755 jail officers have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Cash aid payout
Año also told President Duterte that Bataan has so far disbursed 98.31 percent of the PHP700 million financial assistance funds.
“So 686,465 po ang ating recipients sa Bataan na nakatanggap na ng ayuda. Makikita natin ay anim na LGU na po or municipalities ang nakatapos at pipilitin po natin na matapos ito sa buong linggong ito (Some 686,465 recipients in Bataan have already received cash aid. As we can see, six LGUs or municipalities have already finished the aid distribution and we will do everything to finish it this week),” he said.
LGUs in Metro Manila and Laguna have finished the distribution of cash aid to those affected by the two-week enhanced community quarantine in August.
Año, meanwhile, reported that the 133 drug suspects were arrested in 101 operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the past two days.
During these operations, the PNP also confiscated shabu and marijuana worth PHP17 million. (PNA)