WATCH: DICT confirms China Telecom will be operational on March this 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology on Sunday assured the public that a third telecommunications player will be operational in March, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, to break the longstanding "duopoly" in the industry.

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr. said that the structure for the terms of reference on choosing a third player is already being crafted.

"Magkakaron tayo ng third player in three na natin at pwede nang mag-umpisang mag-operate by end of March.  So, gumagawa na kami ng terms of reference para sa pagpili ho kung sino yung third telco na 'yan."

In December last year, MalacaƱang said that President Durterte wants the third telco player to start providing services to consumers by the first quarter of 2018.

Duterte had instructed the DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission to approve applications and licenses within seven days after complete requirements are submitted, even as he warned the courts not to "interfere and prolong" the process.

China Telecom Corporation Limited has been chosen by the Chinese government to enter the Philippine telecommunications industry as the third player, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

The company, however, has to partner with a Philippine firm as the 1987 Constitution restricts foreign ownership of a telecommunication entity to only 40 percent, and reserves the other 60 percent to Filipino citizens or corporations.

"Isa 'yun sa mga kandidato dahil wala pang talagang pag-award na nagyari. Pero yung China telecom, ang pipili hindi ang gobyerno, hindi kami.  Ang pipili sa kanila yung private telco natin na interesadong maging third player."  

Rio pointed out that such a decision is a private one. "'Yun ay hindi pwedeng pakialaman ng gobyerno."

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that other foreign firms will also have the chance to become the third telco player if China and the Chinese corporation involved will balk at the deal.

In line with this, the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) is said to be in "advance stage" of discussions on a partnership deal with a South Korean telecommunications firm.

"Ang mangyari ho bakit dalawa yung mag-a-apply na gustong maging third player? Isa ho sa partner niya China Telecom. Ang isa namang grupo ang partner nila Korean, Japanese, US, Australia. Magkakaganyan ho ang mangyari at pipili ho kami ng pinakamahusay na pwedeng makipagkumpitensiya sa Globe and Smart," Rio said.


Source: PTV News

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