The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is ramping up the roll-out of common towers in the country.

Twentry three provisional Independent Tower Company (ITC) certificates of registration were issued to tower companies with prior MOUs/MOAs with the DICT.

The provisional certificate serves as the provisional authority to own, construct, manage, and operate one or more Passive Telecommunications Towers Infrastructures.

“Due to the ongoing health crisis and in compliance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive, provisional certificates of registrations were granted to ITCs that already have existing MOUs/MOAs with DICT. This should provide them with ample time to complete all the requirements for full ITC registration and permitting within the time period. Likewise, this should also provide enough time for ITCs to start their roll-out,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said.

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The 24 (now 23, after consolidation of 2 companies) ITCs with existing MOUs/MOAs are deemed registered under DICT Department Circular 008 (s.2020) or the Policy Guidelines on the Co-Location and Sharing of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure for Macro Cell Sites provided that said ITCs promptly file their complete documentary requirements and pay the necessary processing fees for full registration as an ITC.

The 23 ITCs with Provisional ITC Certificates of Registration are the following:

  1. Aboitiz Infracapital, Inc.
  2. ACODA Towers SDN BHD
  3. Alt-Global-Solutions Inc.
  4. Transcend Towers Infrastructure (Philippines), Inc.
  5. China Construction First Group Corp. and Wingan Construction and Development Corporation
  6. China Construction Yangtze River (M) SDN BHD
  7. China Energy Equipment Co., Ltd
  8. CREI Management Services FZE
  9. Desarrollos Terrestres, Inc.
  10. EEI Corporation
  11. Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc.
  12. IHS Holding Limited
  13. Inforient Sdn. Bhd.
  14. ISOC EDOTCO Towers, Inc.
  15. ISON Tower Ltd. Inc.
  16. J.S Cruz Construction and Development Inc.
  17. MGS Construction Inc.
  18. Phil-Tower Consortium Inc.
  19. RT Telecom SDN. BHD.
  20. Shinheung Telecom Co., Ltd.
  21. Tamoin Industrial Services Corporation
  22. Tiger Infrastructure Pte. Ltd.
  23. UA Withya Public Company Ltd.

The provisional certificate is valid until December 31, 2020.

“We need these tower companies to continue mobilizing and building out towers now, that’s why we granted them this provisional certificate to ease their transition under the new circular,” Honasan said. “We have to be diligent to ensure capacity of certified ITCs and we need to balance diligence with the urgency to improve our current ICT infrastructure,” he added.

Other tower companies interested in registering with the DICT may now do so expediently and online through DICT’s ITC Registration Portal, https://commontower.gov.ph/.

The system is DICT’s response to digitalizing the application procedure for registration of ITCs engaged in the business of establishing or operating one or more Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTI), commonly known as “common towers”, as provided for in DC No. 008 and DC No. 011, s. 2020, or the Interim Guidelines for the Processing of Applications for Registration as an Independent Tower Company for the Duration of the Declared State of Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19.

Under the online procedure, applicants must fill out the application form and attach the complete required documents at the ITC Registration Page. The procedure, list of complete documentary requirements, and information on how to qualify as an ITC can be found in the portal.

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Pursuant to DC No. 11, s. 2020, all applicants for ITC registration shall complete their submission of the original, notarized, authenticated, and/or certified true copies of all required documents, together with the duly accomplished and notarized application form, to the DICT in person, by courier/mail, or through postage prepaid, within thirty (30) days after the state of public health emergency is lifted.

For Phase I review, only complete applications will be processed by the DICT and be issued Order to Pay initial processing fee. Incomplete applications or supporting documents shall not be considered as filed. Applicants with incomplete application will be informed through email of any additional information or document required to continue the processing of application for ITC Certificate of Registration.

Upon confirmation of payment for the initial processing fee, the DICT will proceed with the Phase II review. Once application is approved, the applicant will be instructed through email to pay the balance amount as Processing Fee for Phase II review and submit proof of payment thereof.

Upon confirmation of full payment of the processing fees, the DICT will notify the applicant of the availability of the approved ITC Certificate of Registration for pick-up at the DICT Central Office. In the alternative, the applicant may request the DICT to mail the approved ITC Certificate of Registration to its mailing address, at the expense of the applicant.

For applicants with denied registration, the DICT will inform them of the reason for the disapproval of their application.

ITC Certificate of Registration issued by the DICT is valid for five (5) years and renewable for the same period.

“This new registration system is a big step towards our goal of reducing procedural delays in the permitting of ITCs. This will also allow the continuance of our services amid the community quarantine. With the application now done online, we hope to encourage more ITCs to register with the DICT and avail of the advantages of the whole common tower initiative,” Honasan said.

“All of these efforts that we are doing are in response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call to improve the Philippines’ Internet connectivity,” he added.