Senate approves DITO franchise

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2021 06:16 PM

Senate approves DITO franchise 1
DITO Telecommunity gets the Senate's nod for a 25-year franchise. ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - The Philippine Senate on Wednesday approved the franchise of DITO Telecommunity, allowing the new telco to operate for 25 years.

Seventeen senators approved the franchise of DITO, with Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan voting against it and Sen. Panfilo Lacson abstaining.

Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, presided over the passage of the measure.

Poe said DITO's entry into the telecoms market would spur the competition and lead to more affordable and better internet and mobile services.

Pangilinan meanwhile said he voted against granting a franchise to DITO because of "national security concerns."

DITO is a consortium made up of companies owned by Davao-based billionaire Dennis Uy and China Telecoms. 

Lawmakers and security experts had earlier expressed concern over the state-owned China Telecoms participation in DITO, saying it posed a risk to national security as the new telco would build facilities inside military camps.

Malacañang however downplayed these concerns. 

The Lower House meanwhile approved DITO's franchise in August last year.

DITO began commercial operations last March 8, rolling out its service in 15 areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. 

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