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House OKs bill allowing ICT infra in subdivisions, housing projects

MANILA: Subdivisions and future housing developments will soon be required to set aside an area for information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, after such proposal hurdled second reading in the House of Representatives.

During the plenary session on Monday, the chamber approved through voice voting House Bill 9870, or the proposed Housing Development Digital Connectivity Act.

To ensure digital connectivity in urban centers and populated areas of the country, the measure requires all housing projects, subdivisions, villages, or residential properties to allocate an area within its designated open space for the establishment of ICT infrastructure and related amenities.

It seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 957, which mandates the developer of a subdivision to allocate open space for parks, playgrounds, and recreational use.

According to PD 957, as amended by PD 1216, for subdivision projects spanning one hectare or more, the owner or developer shall reserve 30 percent of the gross are
a for open space.

Developers can also provide an area for ICT infrastructure from the net saleable lots outside the mandatory 30 percent of the gross project area for open space to reserve the area for parks, playgrounds, and recreational use.

The ICT provider can obtain the area for ICT infrastructure and facilities through direct purchase based on the fair market value of the land or through a long-term lease.

All ICT infrastructure to be built in an existing subdivision shall be non-exclusive and shall be accessible for shared use by ICT providers.

The bill provides for the compensation to the local government unit, the homeowners’ association, the developer or the private lot owner for the use of such open space.

Source: Philippines News Agency