The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) issued a department order allowing information and communications technology (ICT) service providers to construct and undertake excavations and restoration works for infrastructure projects along national roads.
Department Order No. 29 issued by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar amended DO No. 73 issued in 2014 that outlined the DPWH’s policies on telecommunication and internet infrastructures.
The DO said that ICT providers can undertake their project within the allowable right of way limits of national roads to be determined by the DPWH District Engineering Offices concern.
The amendment, complies with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), or Republic Act (RA) No. 11469, that paved the way for accelerated approval of permits and other documents from the local government to speed up the construction of telecommunication towers.
In addition, Bayanihan 2, or RA No. 11494, further eased the construction of telecommunication infrastructure by waiving several other permitting requirements for telecommunication companies.
In 2014, the DPWH issued DO No. 73 prohibiting telecommunication and power companies from constructing posts along national roads as it “creates an imminent danger to lives and properties and hamper relief operations” during calamities.
In the midst of the Covid19 pandemic last year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) asked the DPWH to consider changing the order as it “slowed down the rollout of critical telecom infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Globe Telecommunications thanked the DPWH for the DO as it removed the bottleneck that prevented telecommunication service providers from constructing infrastructure projects along national roads.
“With this, we see faster network builds in the country,” Globe said in a statement.