“Magkakaron tayo ng third player in three months…ma-identify na natin at pwede nang mag-umpisang mag-operate by end of March. So, gumagawa na kami ng terms of reference para sa pagpili ho kung sino yung third telco na ‘yan,” DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr. said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
[We will have a third player in three months… we would be able to identify and would be operational by the end of March, so we are already doing terms of reference in choosing who the third telco would be].
This was in accordance to the President’s order that the third telco player start providing services to consumers by 2018’s 1st quarter.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was also ordered by the President to approve applications and licenses within seven days after complete requirements are submitted, as he warned the courts not to “interfere and prolong” the process.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, China Telecom Corporation Limited has been chosen by the Chinese government to enter the Philippine telecommunications industry as the third player.
However, as the 1987 Constitution restricts foreign ownership of a telecommunication entity to only 40 percent, and reserves the other 60 percent to Filipino citizens or corporations, the chinese company has to partner with a Philippine firm.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) is said to be in “advance stage” of discussions on a partnership deal with a South Korean telecommunications firm.
Other foreign firms will also have the chance to become the third telco player if China and the Chinese corporation involved will balk at the deal, said Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.