NEARLY 10,000 permits were issued to telecommunication companies within the past five months, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reported Thursday.

In a briefing, ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica said 9,737 permits for wired and wireless projects were issued to the three major telecommunication companies to date, starting from July.

Sa pakikipagtulungan ng mga (Through the collaboration of) LGUs and National Government agencies, there are almost 10,000 total na lumabas (that were released). Itong mga permits na ito ay combination ng mga (These permits are a combination of) applications for cell towers and for fiber optics,” he said.

Mr. Belgica said transactions speeded up after the release of Joint Memorandum Order No. 1 series of 2020, which streamlined the application process.

In July, President Rodrigo R. Duterte imposed a December deadline for telcos to improve their services, threatening them with closure. The need for improved service was heightened by the quarantine which forced millions to work from home.

In August, Mr. Duterte ordered all government agencies to improve the transaction time for cell tower applications after telecommunication companies identified red tape in the tower-building process as a key obstacle to improving coverage. — Gillian M. Cortez