The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) fully supports the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s initiative to allow telecommunications companies to occupy a portion of the government’s Right of Way (ROW) to facilitate infrastructure buildup and speed up improvements to connectivity services in the country.
This is pursuant to the DPWH Department Order No. 29 (DO 29) or the “DPWH Policy on Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11494” issued on March 23, 2021 that eases restrictions on telecommunications companies aiming to construct ICT infrastructure projects along national roads.
“To address the increased need for Internet connectivity services during the state of public health emergency, we must prioritize the faster rollout of ICT infrastructures like cellular towers. We fully support the DPWH’s initiative and we hope that this will help address the issues of congestion, connection reliability and coverage in the near future,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
DPWH stated that the DICT, along with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), were instrumental in paving the way for the issuance of DO 29. Since last year, these agencies had urged the DPWH to revisit and establish more “conducive” ROW regulations to help improve internet connectivity in the country.
The DICT and the DPWH worked hand in hand to ensure compliance with their respective commitments under the Memorandum of Agreement signed during the First Philippine Telecoms Summit in 2017 to eliminate barriers to the expansion of connectivity services in the country.
DO 29 allows telcos and ICT service providers to “construct and undertake excavations and/or restoration work for ICT Infrastructure Projects within the allowable ROW limits of the national roads”.
DO 29 shall automatically cease application in 2024, after the lapse of three (3) years from its signing and approval.