Palace rejects DICT request to extend deadline on entry of 3rd telco player
President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected the request of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to extend the deadline in selecting the third telecommunications player in the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio asked Duterte during the Cabinet meeting on Monday to move the deadline to name the third telco player by May.
But Roque said Duterte rejected Rio’s appeal.
“There was a request from Officer-in-Charge Secretary Rio that they be given two additional months or until May to award and to ensure that the third telecoms carrier is up and about, this was not approve in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting,” he said in a Palace briefing.
Duterte, Roque said, wanted to stick to his original deadline that the third telecommunications player should be “up and about” by March.
“So we stick it out with the original timeframe of a third telecoms player by March of this year. The President was empathic and issued a warning to the detractors of the entry of the third telecoms player not to test the will of government,” he said.
The Palace official said Duterte “was particularly displeased with the fact that in order to have a third telecoms player we would need to find frequencies to be allotted to the third telecom player.”
He said the President was displeased that frequencies given to company Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise (Cure) would have to be “bought back” by the government.
“The President rejected that proposal, that we pay for the frequencies that we gave out for free and he warned everyone involved not to test the resolve of the President in allowing a third telecoms carrier to enter the country,” he said.
Duterte had earlier asked China to provide the third telco player in the country to break the duopoly of the two telco giants, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.
The two telco firms have been blamed for the slow and expensive internet and mobile phone services in the Philippines. /jpv
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