Hontiveros: NTC should look into Dito’s financial capacity to operate

Published March 4, 2021, 8:46 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should look into Dito Telecommunity’s financial capacity to back up the services it intends to provide Filipino consumers.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Risa Hontiveros said this as she questioned the third telecommunications company’s financial capacity to operate amid reports of its huge debts.

Hontiveros said Dito, and its parent company, the Udenna Group, are reportedly over leveraged, as the company reportedly has P150-billion worth of debt against its P20-billion equity.

“Thus, the NTC should also look into the financial capacity of Dito to provide the services it will be offering to the public. Dapat mawala nang tuluyan ang mga pagdududang ito bago mag-operate ang Dito (These concerns and doubts should be put to restd first before Dito starts its operation),” she said.

“After all, this is standard procedure on the part of the NTC with respect to the issuance of any provisional authority or certificate of authority to operate as a telecommunications entity. Aside from a technical audit, they should also conduct a financial audit,” stressed the senator.

Dito is set to start operations on March 8. Against this backdrop, senators continue to raise questions on the third telco’s potential threat to national security.

“Our compatriots who speak on Dito’s behalf before the media are really just a Filipino mask over a Chinese identity. That’s why aside from questions over its financial capability is its potential threat to national security,” she added.

She also added that the 60 percent of the company nominally owned by Filipinos is just a thin shell covering the bulk of the Chinese capital powering the project.

“And that is what gives the Communist Party of China, through its state-run enterprise ChinaTel, the power and leverage to call the shots in Dito’s day-to-day operations,” she said.