MANILA - A third telecommunications player in the Philippines, which is expected to spur competition in the industry and improve internet speed, has been accepted, according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
In a taped interview with "Konektodo" on DZMM Teleradyo that aired Sunday night, Roque said the new telecoms provider about to enter the country is already looking for Filipino partners as the company has to be 60 percent Filipino-owned before it is allowed to operate.
"Meron na po tayong third telecoms provider. Ito po'y sinangguni na, in-offer ng ating Presidente, nung Chinese Premiere, nung siya'y bumisita dito sa Pilipinas. Natanggap na po at naghahanap na po ng Filipino partners dahil kinakailangang 60% Filipino-owned ang telecoms," he said.
Roque previously said President Rodrigo Duterte "offered" China to become the third telecommunications operator in the Philippines. He said this happened during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's meeting with Duterte in Malacañang on November 15, 2017.
The Chinese government has selected China Telecoms to invest in the Philippines. The company will compete with Globe Telecom and PLDT, which continue to dominate the industry after San Miguel Corp. backed out from a deal last year.
Duterte initially wanted the third telecoms player to be up and running by the end of March but Roque on Saturday said there might be a delay. He said the telecoms issues will be the second agenda of the Cabinet meeting on Monday.
"Mayroong ulat na galing sa DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) na baka hindi magkaroon ng katuparan 'yung pagpasok ng third telecom player by the end of the first quarter," Roque said Saturday, without giving much details.