Franchise transfer bogs down Mislatel rollout

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2019 11:07 PM

MANILA - The 90-day post qualification period for third telco Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. or Mislatel has lapsed but the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the bid is still valid.

Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said they are waiting for Congress to issue a concurrent resolution on the transfer of ownership franchise and awarding of frequencies before they proceed with the accreditation process of Mislatel.

“They could not start, because basically we could not give them the frequencies and their, ‘yung kanilang permit to operate as a telco, until we get the approval ng bicam,” he said.

Mislatel was awarded the bid last November and is scheduled to have all the regulatory requirements by March 2019.

Consortium members Udenna and its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and state-owned China Telecommunications Corp. agreed to increase its shareholdings in Mislatel to acquire majority and controlling interest in the company.

Senator Grace Poe, however, said there is no need for a bicam on the Mislatel resolution.

Poe said that the Senate has already given its concurrence and adopted it in the plenary. The House of Representatives only needs to adopt the version with minor amendments from the Senate.

She also took a swipe at DICT saying the agency should not micro-manage the issue, but instead perform its mandate.

“It is not an initiative of the Senate or Congress, but an executive/administrative project. In this instance, the DICT and NTC. This is not the time to dilly-dally, they assessed it, they should pursue it and they should deliver. DICT should just perform its task," she said.