India could be next major telco player in PH – Duterte

Published February 21, 2018, 4:33 AM

by MB Developer

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is considering India as a possible major player in the country’s telecommunications sector, President Duterte disclosed Tuesday night.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. (CFBCI) at the Manila Hotel on February 19, 2018. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said he invited India to invest in the country’s telco industry when he visited New Delhi last January.

“India is also interested to enter into the telecom industry and we are considering,” Duterte said during the induction of the new officers of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerces Inc. in Malacañang Tuesday.

“I invited them during my talks with the businessmen of India during my official visit,” he added.

Duterte noted that the government would make available frequency for a new major telco player to promote market competition. He said interested party could discuss the proposed investment with the concerned government officials.

“I have opened up the third frequency for telecommunication, telecoms. If you are the representative there, you can always go to them and discuss business,” he said.

The President, however, advised investors to shun any extortion attempt by public officials, saying they are not supposed to spend for anything other than the official government fees.

He also urged them to report any corruption complaint to his office for appropriate action.

“If you are asked to shell out money or there is a transaction which involves corruption for a favor or for a permit then let me know,” Duterte  said.

“Unless you are ready to give it then just shut up because it’s yours. But you are not supposed to spend for anything unless it’s part of the official fees and the collections of government, regulatory fees most of it,” he said.

The President has pushed for the entry of a third telco carrier in the country by March or April to break the duopoly of PLDT-Smart Communications and Globe Telecoms. He first made the offer to China to join the telco industry but other foreign companies have later  shown interest in the venture.

Duterte recently said the “lousy” services of two telecommunication giants prompted the government to allow another player in the market.