MANILA - The selection of the country's third major telecommunications company may have to wait until July, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Tuesday.
DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said the deadline for the submission of bids for the third telco, which had already been moved to May 24, may have to be moved again.
On the DICT Facebook page, Rio said that the announcement of the third telco may have to wait until the "end of June or early July."
Rio, however, assured that the announcement will be done before the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 23.
He said that the DICT is still finalizing the terms of reference (TOR) for the selection of the new telco player.
"We are still finalizing the draft TOR, so that when published for comments, suggestions and position papers from stakeholders, it will be more complete and comprehensive than the first draft," Rio said in a message on Facebook.
"The final TOR must be attractive enough to contenders for the Third Telco Player but at the same time not anti-competitive to the incumbent telcos," he said.
The publication of the TOR was originally set for last week ahead of a public consultation, but the DICT now expects to publish it after the Holy Week holidays or around the first week of April.
President Rodrigo Duterte had wanted the next major telco, which will compete with Globe and PLDT, to be named by March. The expectation is greater competition would lead to better services for the public.
When the DICT said the bidding would happen on May 24, the Palace said it was not happy, but that the delay appeared unavoidable. - with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News