Senate panel to further sort out Mislatel’s franchise issues
MANILA, Philippines – Mislatel Consortium’s bid to be the Philippines’ third major player in the telecommunications industry will be further scrutinized when the Senate committee on public services resumes its hearing on Wednesday, Senator Grace Poe said on Tuesday.
Poe said the Senate panel has invited members of the academe and legal experts to help explain the issues of Mislatel’s franchise.
“Yung mga ibang Dean ng mga law schools ay inimbitahan natin pati na rin ang mga eksperto sa mga ligal na usapin sapagkat dito na po naninimbang ang magiging state o kung ano ang kalalabasan nito para sa Mislatel,” Poe said in an interview over radio dzMM.
(We invited deans of law schools and other legal luminaries so we can determine what will happen to Mislatel).
The next hearing is on Wednesday, January 30 at 10 a.m.
In the last hearing, it was revealed that the franchise of Mislatel Consortium could be deemed void because the company violated several conditions in its franchise.
Mislatel failed to comply with the requirement to operate within one year after the acquisition of the franchise and the need to offer at least 30 percent of its stocks to then public.
Poe said that restarting the bidding process for the third telco player could be more favorable than allowing the company to operate despite its franchise issues.
She pointed out that if Mislatel was allowed to operate despite the issues surrounding its franchise, the matter could reach the courts and delay the entry of the third telco player for years.
But if the government restart its selection process, it would only have a delay of three months.
“Kunwari pinayagan namin sa Senado at pinasa namin ‘yan, kung mayroong mag-question at ‘yan ay dumating sa korte at pinatigil ‘yan, …baka abutin ng taon bago tayo magkaroon ng isa pang telco,” the senator said.
(If the Senate okays this and is later questioned before the courts, it may take years before another telco is chosen).
“On the other hand, kung agad-agad na gumawa na tayo ng desisyon na alam mo, hindi ligal ang prangkisa, so siguro hindi pwede ang Mislatel, makakapag-umpisa na uli ng bidding ang DICT at NTC, pero made-delay tayo ng about three months,” she added.
(If we think that Mislatel’s franchise is not valid, the DICT and NTC can start another bidding process, which will set us back by only about three months).
Poe earlier said that the Department of Information and Communications Technology might have been remiss in reviewing the franchise of Mislatel during the bidding process. /gsg
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