Another delay: Gov't to name 3rd telco player before year-end - DICT

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2018 11:38 AM | Updated as of Apr 27 2018 12:00 PM

MANILA – The third major telecommunications player won't be named during President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July as earlier announced, an official said Friday.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) OIC Eliseo Rio said the third major telco player will “definitely” be announced before the end of the year.

The delay, he said "would really define the contender to be a very credible one," Rio told reporters.

The bidders will be identified during the SONA instead, he said, adding the DICT will exert the “best effort” to release the Terms of Reference set by mid-May.

"The best thing we can do is start the bidding process before the SONA. Before the SONA, those really interested who would be buying bidding documents, people will know who they are, Rio said.

From there, the companies will be given 2 months to formulate their proposals.

Meanwhile, Rio also said the oversight committee, formed by Duterte and co-chaired by Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, is looking at offering fiscal incentives to telecommunications players.

He said these may include tax incentives that will make it easier for new players to compete with Globe and PLDT. While the incentives won’t be exclusive to the new player, this means it will enjoy perks that older players didn’t get to enjoy for over 20 years.

“The goal is to find strong bidders, not anyone who will just fold and sell themselves to Globe and PLDT,” he said.