MANILA -- Bidders for the Philippines' third telco slot need to declare that they will "not be national security threat," a Cabinet official overseeing the search said Monday.
Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio told a Senate hearing that the assurance from the companies "will come with some actionable demonstration."
The government is "really concerned" about cybersecurity, after some state-run websites were hacked in recent years.
"There is a provision there that whoever will win must assure the government of the Philippines that it will not be a national security threat," Rio said, referring to the terms of reference for the selection.
Three foreign firms, including China Telecom, are among 8 forms that bought documents to bid for the third telco slot.
Rio cited Globe, which contracted an Israeli firm to to inspect its cybersecurity capability, with the results set to be submitted to government.
Globe recently tapped China's Huawei to help build its 5G network.
Rio also told senators Monday that a "provisional" third telco could be named by November, barring court action.
One of 8 firms that bought bid documents, NOW Corp, has questioned the selection process, saying it had turned into a money-making scheme.