MANILA - Telecommunications companies seeking to challenge Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc want to push back the deadline for their proposals to the middle of the year, a cabinet official said Monday.
The firms sought more time to raise capital and form partnerships, said Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio. The government earlier said the third player could be named by March.
"Nanghingi sila ng mga 2 months... so mga end of May or early June," Rio told DZMM.
(They asked for 2 months, so it will be end of May or early June.)
Several foreign companies, including China Telecom, have expressed interest in investing in the country. However, foreign firms need to secure local partners since the Constitution caps their ownership of Filipino firms at 40 percent.
The government has yet to name a third telecommunications player, said Rio, whose department is overseeing the selection process.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Sunday that a third telecommunications firm had been "accepted" and the company was looking for Filipino partners.
"Ang nasabi niya (Roque) lang e mayroon na pong nag-confirm na foreign telco na mag-participate ho [sa selection process] at naghahanap ngayon ng maging partner niya na Filipino," Rio told DZMM.
"Ang ibig sabihin ho siguro ni Secretary Roque, confirmed ho na magpa-participate po."
(He only said that a foreign telco has confirmed that it will participate and is now looking for a Filipino partner. What Secretary Roque may have meant is that the firm's participation has been confirmed.)
Duterte promised during the 2016 campaign to improve internet speeds in the country. Roque had said that the President wanted the third player operational by the third quarter.