Mislatel franchise 'cure' up for Senate approval: Poe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2019 04:33 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2019 05:17 PM

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MANILA -- A resolution approving the transfer of controlling shares in a company that holds a telecommunications franchise to the Mislatel consortium will be submitted to the Senate plenary for approval, a lawmaker said Tuesday.

The Mislatel consortium, composed of China Telecom and businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics, needs the franchise held by a company also called Mislatel to establish the country's third telco.

While Mislatel "clearly" failed to comply with some conditions of its franchise, Sen. Grace Poe said "a few colleagues" in the chamber agreed with the consortium's argument that only an act of Congress can revoke the license.

"This is the cure now. Congress came up with that House concurrent resolution, it transferred it to the Senate and now the Senate will vote on it, but we have certain amendments," Poe said.

The Senate committee on public services, chaired by Poe, led several hearings on the third telco. Mislatel secured authority from the National Telecommunications Commission last year to challenge PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom.

The Senate committee's amendments include taking out all references to Mislatel as the third player and treat the matter as a "regular" franchise. This will prevent the company from arguing that as the designated third player, it had the rights to the license, Poe said.

Poe said Mislatel also committed to a P25-billion performance bond to deliver on its commitments to invest P257 billion, bring coverage to 30 percent and data speeds to 27 mbps in the first year.

"It's for national interest that I'm also doing this. Look, there are certain technicalities, perhaps that point to them not being kosher. There's certain requirements that they didn't fulfill, but this is what they're going to present in exchange," she said.

"When you weigh the risks for the governments it better to actually take it that again, to have this delayed," she said.