MANILA - Setting up a third telecommunications player by March is "physically impossible" as the selection process is still underway, Malacañang said Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte had wanted the new telco up and running by next month. The third player is seen as key to improving services and reducing costs for consumers as it will challenge the dominance of PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom.
"We have been overtaken by events. I understand DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio had to move the deadline because it is physically impossible to meet them," Roque told reporters in Iloilo.
"The President did not approve of the extension but I think the turn of events will eventually make it necessary to move the deadline."
The Department of Information and Communications Technology this week released guidelines for the selection of the third player.
The company should have a net worth of at least P10 billion and secure a congressional franchise. It also must not have any relation to groups with 40-percent market share in the two dominant players.