MANILA -- The top contender for the country's third telco slot may be known as early as Wednesday after bid documents are analyzed, a Cabinet official overseeing the search said.
At least 7 firms are expected to submit their bids to challenge PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom, out of the 10 who bought documents to participate, said Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio.
A computer program will determine which firm meets the highest committed level of service criteria. After which, the DICT will check the bid documents before the slot is awarded, Rio said.
"Walang discretion sa amin dahil ang magko-compute ng puntos is a computer program... Within the hour ng pagbukas, alam na natin," he said.
(There will be no discretion on our part because the firms' points will be computed by a computer program. We will know the results within an hour after bidding opens.)
The 10 firms that bought bid documents include China Telecom, Norway's Telenor, Davao tycoon Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp, and Tier1 backed by former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Chavit Singson.
Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp and NOW Corp, which also secured bid papers, filed separate court pleadings questioning the process.
Under the highest committed level of service scheme, bidders will be asked to select barangays where they plan to provide coverage for the next 5 years, Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba of the National Telecommunications Commission earlier said.
Their "percentage of commitment" per year based on the data will be computed, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his third state of the nation address in July, directed the DICT and the NTC to name a third telco before the end of 2018.