The Anti-Red Tape Authority ordered the National Telecommunications Commission to immediately issue a certificate of public convenience to an affiliate of publicly-listed NOW Corp.
ARTA said it found NTC to have violated certain provisions of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and implementing rules and regulations for allegedly failing to issue the certificate within the period required by the law and the rules despite News and Entertainment Network Corp.’s compliance with all the requirements.
ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica issued the order on Feb. 12 and warned NTC, through Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, that its failure to comply with the order to issue the CPC to Newsnet would constrain ARTA to file the appropriate case or action in the proper forum.
ARTA declared as complete Newsnet’s application for a CPC to install, operate and maintain a local multi-point distribution system to deliver interactive pay television and multimedia services in South Luzon, North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the 25.35 to 26.35 gigahertz frequency range with the authority to charge rates.
Newsnet submitted an affidavit submitted to ARTA on Jan. 31, claiming it had already submitted all the requirements for the issuance of the CPC and that such requirements were duly admitted by the NTC through an order dated Oct. 19, 2018.
The company also said that it had paid the required fees. It said that despite the submission of the requirements and payment of fees, there was still a manifest delay of more than a year in the approval or disapproval of Newsnet’s application for a CPC.
Belgica said that after due investigation and evaluation of the arguments and documents submitted by both parties and considering the NTC order dated Oct. 19, 2018, the official receipts issued by the NTC that serve as enough proof or have the same force and effect of a license, permit or certification, ARTA declared the completeness of Newsnet’s application.
It said such application was deemed automatically approved by operation of law pursuant to Section 10 of Republic Act 11032 of the Ease of Doing Business Law.
ARTA also directed NTC to submit its compliance report within three working days from the receipt of the order.
The frequencies of Newsnet are already being used for many years in Metro Manila. Four years ago, Newsnet applied for provincial expansion which necessitated a CPC from the NTC. It said despite the completion of the hearings for more than a year, NTC failed to act on the application.
The implementing rules of RA 1103 require a maximum period of seven working days for processing, approval of licenses, clearance, permits, certifications or authorizations for the installation and operation of telecommunication, broadcast towers, facilities, equipment and service by the NTC.