Don’t rush 3rd telco player selection — Dominguez

Published April 19, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III warned yesterday against rushing the entry of a third telecommunications player in the Philippines.

According to Dominguez, investment requirement for the successful entry of a third telco player is substantial, citing the investors also need to ensure there is available infrastructure for their facilities.

Dominguez, who is the vice-chairperson of the inter-agency committee overseeing the selection for the new telecommunications company, said the third player would need at least R200 billion to “effectively compete” against PLDT and Globe Telecoms.

“To effectively compete, the investments required of the new major telecommunications player is estimated to be at least R200 billion,” Dominguez tweeted yesterday.

“The magnitude of the investment requires that all elements, including the necessary access to available telecommunications infrastructure, are in place for the new player,” he added.

Until the necessary infrastructure is in place, Dominguez believes “the bidding for its entry cannot be rushed.”

Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to ensure that the third telco player would be up and running before the end of the first quarter of 2018.

However, DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said last month the deadline for the submission of bids for the third telco, which had already been moved to May 24, may have to be moved again.

He, meanwhile, assured that the announcement for the third-player will be done before President Duterte delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

Last April 6, Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 11, creating an Oversight Committee tasked to assist the NTC, an attached agency of the DICT, in crafting the terms of reference for the selection of a new telecommunications company.

The oversight committee is composed of representatives from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as chairperson, Department of Finance as vice chairperson, and from the offices of the Executive Secretary and National Security Adviser.