Press Releases

Salceda thanks PBBM for EO 32, pushes for spaces reserved for internet infra in Building Code

July 16th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) thanked President Marcos for issuing Executive Order No. 32, which expedites the permitting process for telecommunications tower infrastructure to those mandated by existing laws and regulations, and preventing the imposition of requirements such as a Sanggunian resolution. Salceda is also pushing for amendments to the Building Code, to require telecommunications facilities in condominiums and major commercial and government establishments.

“The expedited tower permitting policy boosted internet speeds between 2020 and 2022 by 140%, while reducing prices by as much as 41%. Rarely do we do something right by way of policy. And it’s an excellent move on the part of PBBM that he saw the wisdom in reviving it,” Salceda said.

EO 32 also provides that applications of telecommunications service providers within the prescribed period shall be deemed automatically approved.

Cities and municipalities are also tasked to be set up one-stop shops for construction permits for telecommunications facilities. A zero-backlog policy for applications with government offices shall also be in effect.

The order was signed on July 4, 2023, and made public the following day.

“It’s an accomplishment he can certainly tout during the SONA.”

Building code amendments pushed

Salceda also filed House Bill No. 8534, which seeks to amend the Building Code to require condominiums to reserve spaces for telecommunications facilities.

Under Salceda’s bill, “Buildings or structures and property developments shall be provided, as part of mandatory basic requirements, telecommunications / ICT infrastructure in accordance to the relevant technical specifications and requirements defined by the industry and/or latest Philippine electronics codes.”

“Telecom services are now as basic as plumbing. That was certainly the case with the pandemic. And that is now the case, with work-from-home arrangements.”

“In Metro Manila alone, there are at least 160,000 condominium units, housing close to 1 million people – mainly working-class families, students, or young professionals in greatest need of fast and reliable internet,” Salceda said.

“High concentrations of people within limited spaces can be taxing on telecommunications services, especially on bandwidth, unless adequate provision is given for telecommunications facilities. Without specific mandates to ensure digital connectivity in such complexes, the ability of internet service providers and other telecommunications service providers to deliver to their clients will be significantly hampered,” Salceda said.

“The Building Code, enacted in 1977, could not have anticipated this digital future. But we are now living in that future. The laws should work for us, not constrain us to the limits of previous generations’ imagination.”

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