Third telco DITO assures facilities won't be used to obtain 'classified' information


Posted at Sep 09 2020 01:00 PM

MANILA - Third telco player DITO Telecommunity said Wednesday its equipment, devices and structures to be constructed within military camps will not be used to obtain classified information.

The China-backed third telco player was responding to allegations that the memorandum of agreement it inked with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build cell sites inside select Philippine military camps will also provide access to non-Filipino nationals once construction begins.
"Let us make clear that the Armed Forces of the Philippines has in place stringent protocols that disallow foreign nationals from performing sensitive technical work within military camps. The Memorandum of Agreement signed with the AFP contained the very same provisions signed by the other two telcos with the notable exception that additional provisions were provided pertaining to commitments of DITO to national security," Adel Tamano, DITO Telecommunity chief administrative officer said in a statement.

"We have submitted our cybersecurity plan during the bidding process to prove that our networks and facilities will not compromise national security and shall abide with the National Cybersecurity Plan. This plan has been accepted by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the National Security Advisor," Tamano added.

"DITO Telecommunity guaranteed that its devices, equipment, and structures shall not be used to obtain classified information from the Armed Forces," he said.

Although a Filipino company, the third telco is a consortium composed of Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics with state-owned China Telecom. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during a House hearing on Tuesday said he recently signed the MOA between the AFP and DITO allowing the telco to construct towers within military camps.

DITO committed to cover at least 37 percent of the population on its first year, with internet speeds of up to 27 mbps. 

As of July, 300 out of its committed 1,300 towers are "live" while 500 have been erected, chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago earlier said.

DITO is set to launch commercially in March 2021.