Duterte wants no delay in third telco search: spokesman

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2018 12:52 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File/ Ace Morandante, Malacañang Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte denied the request of the Department of Communications and Information Technology to move the selection of a third telecommunications company to May, his spokesman said Tuesday.

The President wants the DICT to stick to its original target to name the challenger to PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom by March, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"The President was emphatic and issued a warning to the critics of the entry of third telco player not to test the will of the government," Roque told reporters.

Roque said the President was "particularly displeased" that in order for the third player to become operational, the government will have to buy back frequencies that it gave out "for free."

PLDT and Globe Telecom continue to dominate the industry after San Miguel Corp sold its telecommunications assets to the two firms in May 2016.

The third player must secure a congressional franchise and be able to spend at least P500 billion over 5 years, said Eliseo Rio, DICT officer-in-charge.