Poe eyeing lawsuit vs draft common tower policy
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday vowed to go to court if Presidential Adviser on economic affairs and information technology communications Ramon Jacinto insists on implementing the proposed common tower policy which she dubbed as “disadvantageous to the public.”
Under the draft memorandum circular crafted by Jacinto, a maximum of two independent tower companies may be registered by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in the first four years of the implementation of the policy.
After this, the NTC may register as many new tower companies as necessary, particularly in rural areas.
“Talagang tututulan ko ‘yan at saka hindi ko lang basta-bastang tututulan dahil kung saka-sakaling hindi nila tayo pinakinggan, kasi alam niyo naman ganyan ‘pag humaharap sa Senado ang gaganda ng sinasabi pero hindi naman nila tinutuloy, kaya mag-fa-file tayo ng kaso kasi kailangan talagang pigilan ang mga ganitong uri ng mga polisiya na sa tingin ko ay makakasama sa ating mga kababayan,” she said over a radio interview.
(I will really oppose it if they do not listen to us. When they face the Senate, they say a lot of positive things but fail to deliver, that is why we may file a case because we have to stop such policies which I think will not be good for the country).
Poe stressed that it would be “counterproductive to the government’s aim of improving the telecommunications infrastructure in the country.”
The Philippine Competition Commission, the Office of the Solicitor General and industry stakeholders have flagged the proposal for its ‘anti-competitive nature.’ Poe said.
Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio also said the common tower policy being proposed “would surely be challenged by the telcos in court.”
Instead, Poe said the government should improve infrastructures to boost internet and cellular phone signals in the country, adding that the country still lacks 45,000 cellular towers. /gsg
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