Congress can 'cure' Mislatel franchise issues, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2019 12:25 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2019 12:30 PM

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MANILA – Congress can cure alleged inadequacies in the franchise of Mislatel, taking public interest into account and allowing the country's designated third telco to start operating, a Cabinet official said Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Dirilon had said that Mislatel's franchise was "deemed revoke" for failure to start operations within a year after it secured its license and for not notifying Congress of a change in its leadership.

"Yung franchise ng Mislatel, it could be cured through an act of Congress because Congress gave the franchise in the first place so 'yun ang pinagaralan nila ngayon (that's being studied right now)," Department of Information and Communications Technology Acting Sec. Eliseo Rio said.

"Kung istriktuhan natin ang Mislatel, magkakaroon ng ripple effect sa industry natin," he said.

(If we will be strict on Mislatel, there will be a ripple effect in the industry.)

Mislatel is a consortium composed of a company of the same name that holds the franchise, China Telecom and businessman Dennis Uy's Chelsea Logistics and Udenna Corp.

If Mislatel completes all the post-qualification requirements before Feb. 7, including a Senate resolution in favor of its franchise, the National Telecommunications Commission can transfer frequencies to the third telco, Rio said.

Seven common tower companies have expressed interest to build telco infrastructure in the country, with up to $4.4 billion (P230 billion) in potential investments, he said.

The government wants 50,000 common towers built in 7 to 10 years, he said.