Duterte tells telcos to report LGUs delaying permit processing
Robie de Guzman • July 31, 2020 • 624
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.
Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.
“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.
Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.
“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.
After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.
He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.
“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.
“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.
The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.
Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will consider the position of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against declaring a ceasefire with communist rebels this holiday season, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte normally “gives a lot of weight” on the recommendations of the military.
“Pakikinggan po ‘yan, but ultimately it’s only the President who will decide,” he said during a press briefing.
AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo earlier said the military will not recommend a holiday truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, due to the rebels’ “incapacity for sincerity.”
“This was the AFP’s painful experience where the communist terrorist group reneged from their own ceasefire declaration by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions,” Arevalo said.
“During the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the likes,” he added.
Arevalo, however, said that the AFP would support whatever the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte will be despite their position on the matter.
Last year, the government and the CPP-NPA both declared a truce during the holiday season, from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz and Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.
The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.
During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs that are expected to be made available in the Philippines next year.
Under Executive Order (EO) No. 121 signed on Dec. 1 and made public by Malacañang on Wednesday, Duterte granted authority to the FDA director general to issue EUA for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, subject to provided conditions.
The EO stated that an EUA on a COVID-19 vaccine or drug shall be issued and remain valid only when all of the following circumstances are present:
Based on the totality of evidence available, including data from adequate and well-known controlled trials, it is reasonable to believe that the drug or vaccine may be effective to prevent, diagnose or treat COVID-19;
The known and potential benefits of the drug or vaccine when used to diagnose, prevent or treat COVID-19 outweigh the known and potential risks of the drug or vaccine, if any; and
There is no adequate, approved and available alternative to the drug or vaccine for diagnosing, preventing or treat9ing COVID-19
An application for the issuance of an EUA shall be submitted by the industry or government agency concerned, such as the national procurer or public health program implementer, the EO read.
The FDA shall then convene a panel of experts on drug and vaccine development to review available data on the safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 drug or vaccine applied for an EUA. The panel will then submit its report and recommendations to the FDA director general.
“In evaluating applications for EUA, the FDA director general shall have the power to implement reliance and recognition processes for emergency use of drugs and vaccines,” the order stated.
“For this purpose, the FDA director general may accept the regulatory decision of the WHO (World Health Organization), US-CDC, or other internationally recognized and established regulatory authorities,” it added.
An EUA issued pursuant to the order shall be valid within the duration of the declared public health emergency due to COVID-19, and may be revoked or revisited by the FDA director general.
FDA director general Eric Domingo earlier assured they will not compromise public safety with the sped-up process.
The Philippine government is looking to administer the vaccines to at least 70 million Filipinos under an immunization program that may be carried out within three to five years. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.