ARTA recalls ruling on automatic approval of NOW Telecom application at NTC

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has issued resolutions setting aside its decision on automatic approval of the applications of NOW Telecom and its news outlet News and Entertainment Network Corp. with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Suspended ARTA director-general Jeremiah Belgica

In separate resolutions shared by ARTA officer-in-charge Ernesto Perez, ARTA said the decision on the applications of NOW Telecom and News Net shall now be in the hands of the NTC.

The ARTA came up with the resolutions following a ruling of the Office of the Secretary of Justice that transactions in quasi-judicial agencies are not covered by the 3-7-20 rule.

“(T)he subject ARTA Resolution and Order of Automatic Approval dated March 1, 2021 are hereby now set aside and the application of NOWTel for the assignment of frequencies is hereby endorsed to the National Telecommunications Commission for prompt disposition,” the resolution pertaining to NOWTel’s case said.

Its decision of automatic approval for News Net dated Feb. 12, 2020 was also set aside and the application was endorsed to the NTC for “prompt disposition”.

The implementing rules and regulations of the ease of doing business (EODB) law impose all national government agencies and local government units to process simple transactions in three days, seven days for complex transactions, and 20 days for highly technical transactions.

Transactions with complete requirements shall be deemed approved within three, seven, or 20 days depending on the complexity of the transaction.

ARTA’s revocation of its ruling came after Office of the Ombudsman suspended ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica and other top officials for six months after a complaint against them was filed by DITO Telecommunity.

DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano accused the ARTA officials of violating Republic Act No. 3018 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for issuing the resolution and order of automatic approval ordering the assignment of frequencies by NTC to NOW Telecom. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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