Selection of 3rd telco seen moving forward after Duterte SONA 'guidance'

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2018 09:16 PM

MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s gave a clear guidance on the selection process for the third telco during his State of the Nation Address (SONA). 

“Now with the SONA and clear guidance from the president, we can now start the legal process of the TOR (terms of reference). Kasi all the other meetings that we had were informal public fora. But this time, we are going to schedule a public hearing that has the same decorum just like the court," said DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio.

Rio said he expects the TOR to be completed by the end of September or early October, and if all goes well, the country will have a new major telco player by mid-2019. 

The third player, the DICT said, will have to submit a yearly performance bond and monitored for five months to make sure they meet the standards the government set. 

“It’s very strict on what we are going to do with the third telco. For Globe and Smart, we never asked them for any commitment, they never put up any performance bond. We want the third telco to be our standard and to be at par with our neighbors.”

Rio said he also wants the third player to secure users from cyber attacks and abuses, and prevent stolen or 'disappearing' prepaid loads. 

“These are things that will attract the subscribers to go to the third player.”

Rio said he is confident that the incumbent telcos will up their game with the entry of the third player.

“If Globe and Smart stays the same, baka sila na maiwanan ng mga subscribers nila, more or less, that answers the reliability the president wants.”

Better Broadband Alliance lead convenor Grace Mirandilla-Santos also welcomed the third telco selection process.