DICT vows to follow Duterte order to name 3rd telco by December

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has vowed to name the new major telco player by December, saying it is already finalizing the terms of reference for the selection process within the month.

Photo grab from PTV 4

“That has been what I’ve been saying publicly. In our timeline, we will have a 3rd telco by Christmas. What the president said is what we’ve been saying all along. The ball is in NTC’s (National Telecommunications Commission) court,” DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. said in a TV interview Tuesday, Sept. 11, following the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he wants the third telco player to be identified by Christmas.

“We already are finalizing the terms of reference for the selection process. By the end of September, those interested will get their bidding documents. Then we’ll know which players will join the contest,” he added.

Duterte, in an interview with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, said that he will be taking over the decision on the selection of the third telco player if this will not be resolved at the soonest possible time.

“Maybe late, early November pag wala pa, I will take over. Ilagay ko yan sa Office of the President. I will invite all dito negosyante and I will decide in front of them kung sino (Maybe late, early November if this is still not resolved, I will take over. I will place it under the Office of the President. I will invite all businessmen and I will decide in front of them who will be selected),” Duterte said.

“Give me your position papers. I will read it. Give me 30 minutes. Then I will come back and tell them: I will decide yun na (that’s it). By Christmas alam na ng tao kung sino ang third player (By Christmas, people will be able to know who is the third player),” he added.

The DICT is eyeing to conduct the bidding for the new telco as early as October this year.

Among the companies that expressed to bid are Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Co., Now Corporation, Converge ICT Solutions, TransPacific Broadband Group International Inc. and Easy Call Communications Philippines.

Some of the foreign investors that expressed interest are China Telecom, Surya Telecom of India, LG Uplus Corp. of South Korea, KDDI Corporation of Japan and Viettel Group of Vietnam. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

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