DICT relaxes rules for third telco player (The Manila Times)

Committed services and not financial resources will be the basis for choosing the country’s third major telecommunications player, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said as it announced the dropping of a P10-billion net worth requirement.

“The P10-billion capital required will be [taken] out [because] we have been receiving … comment[s] from the stakeholders themselves,” DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said at a second public consultation on the selection of the third telco player on Tuesday.

(Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr. (L)
and National Telecommunications Commission chief Gamaliel Cordoba answer questions during a public consultation.

The DICT earlier this month released a draft memorandum circular mandating, among others, that any telco looking to challenge the PLDT and Globe Telecom duopoly should be worth at least P10 billion.

“[H]indi na yung pera yung tinitignan, but ‘yung actual committed roll-out mo (We will no longer look at the money but instead the actual committed roll-out)… the area you will cover, internet speed you are going to commit, ano yung mga (what) services that you will have after five years,” Rio said.
Noting that the selection process normally takes into account the committed investment, Rio said “we took that out” because prospective investors had claimed that their systems were more efficient and up-to-date.

The chief of the National Telecommunications Commission, Gamaliel Cordoba, said a performance bond would be mandated in lieu of the capital requirement.

“The performance bond — this is just the figure that we put, P40 billion, it can go higher or lower — we’re asking for help from the Insurance Commission on the best way on how to …[settle]funding,” Cordoba added.

Should the winning bidder fail to meet its commitments, the second-placer will take over and be allowed to tap the previous winner’s performance bond, Rio said.

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Ma. Lisbet K. Esmael

28 February 2018

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