Friday, June 21, 2024

PLDT gives Dito Telecommunity until Nov. 4 to settle P430-M debt

PLDT has set a Nov. 4 deadline for its local competitor Dito Telecommunity to pay its P430-million “unpaid contractual obligation”. Otherwise, the telco giant said it will suspend or terminate its services to the Dennis Uy-owned operator.

In a statement on Tuesday, Oct. 18, PLDT said it welcomes Dito’s openness to amicably settle its debt but warned that it “reserves all of its legal options, including suspension or termination of services, in case Dito does not remedy its material breach by November 4.”

“… PLDT welcomes the amicable settlement of accounts by its debtors even if those debtors are PLDT’s competitors,” the Manny V. Pangilinan-led telco said.

“But Dito must demonstrate its good faith by ceasing its attempts to confuse the issue and to mislead the public by claiming that PLDT’s efforts to collect on Dito’s debt is somehow an anticompetitive activity or interconnection issue that merits some unspecified ‘legal process’ rather than just Dito’s simple payment of its defaulted P430-million debt,” the company said.

So far, PLDT said it yet to receive Dito’s settlement proposal.

Earlier, PLDT criticized Dito for allegedly resorting “to squid tactics to mislead the public about this unpaid obligation.”

“The facts are simple: Dito requested PLDT to build transmission facilities for it, and which Dito would then lease. PLDT had no duty to do so and could have refused if it wanted to reduce competition,” it said.

“But PLDT agreed to build and lease the transmission facilities to Dito, while also providing interconnection services to benefit both Dito’s and PLDT’s own subscribers,” it added.

PLDT said it built and leased the transmission facilities for Dito on schedule, while Dito repeatedly delayed in paying PLDT the contracted payments for the facilities.

“PLDT has finished the transmission facilities and Dito continues to use the facilities to provide services to its subscribers. But Dito has now refused to pay the final P430 million balance it owes PLDT for building the facilities.

“Instead of paying, Dito has responded to PLDT’s mandatory PSE and SEC disclosures about Dito’s material nonpayment by trying to confuse the public and referring to and mischaracterizing the issues involving Dito’s other unpaid obligations to Smart Communications, a separate company with a different agreement with Dito,” it explained.

PLDT said Smart is unable to give Dito any additional bandwidth until Dito agrees to compensate Smart for illegal overseas call traffic that is coming from Dito.

“This has nothing to do with Dito’s refusal to pay an overdue obligation to PLDT for transmission facilities that Dito has asked PLDT to build and which Dito has leased from PLDT and which, to repeat, Dito continues to use,” the company said.

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