That’s a very short time frame
President Rodrigo Duterte wants a third player in the market as soon as possible, and has reportedly ordered both the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to make sure that the third telco player would be up and about by the first quarter of next year.
“The President has instructed DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and National Telecommunications Commission to ensure that the 3rd telecom provider will be up and about by the first quarter of 2018,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque during a Malacañang press briefing on on Tuesday, December 19.
In line with this, Roque said that the relevant government agencies have been ordered to approve all license and applications within 7 days upon complete submission of requirements. If it has not been approved by that time frame, the licenses and applications would be considered automatically approved.
Duterte also warned against possible roadblocks of the process. “I do not want the courts to interfere and prolong this process. Do not issue any TROs or injunctions. This is a matter of national interest for the benefit of the public,” said Duterte.
The government has tapped China Telecom to become the third telco player in the Philippines, after Telstra’s aborted deal with San Miguel Corporation. But despite the rush, China Telecom will still have to abide by the 40/60 rule mandated by the constitution, which means there needs to be Filipino partners in their venture in the country.
“They (constitutional provisions) will have to be observed and I think the scheme they agreed upon is while China Telecom will have 40%, there will be a consortium of Filipino companies that will own 60%,” said Roque.
“It is being rushed because we need desperately to have better telecoms in this country,” he added.