3rd telco firm in PH ‘physically impossible’ by March – Roque
Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s continued insistence that the third telco player in the country should be up and running by March 2018, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted on Thursday that the deadline for it may just have to be moved to a later date.
In a televised press briefing, Roque said that it would now be “physically impossible” to meet the deadline to set-up a third telecommunications firm in the country because the government has been “overtaken” by events.
“Eh siguro po overtaken na tayo ng events. Ang pagkakaintindi ko OIC [Eliseo Rio] has had to move the deadline because it is physically impossible to meet them,” Roque noted.
“The President did not approve of the extension pero I think the turn of events will eventually make it necessary to move the deadline,” he added.
Earlier, Duterte rejected the request of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to extend the deadline in the selection of the third telco player to break the existing industry duopoly of 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.
The DICT has pushed back the bidding exercise for a new telco player to May 2018 to ensure more participants in the selection process.
Duterte had previously asked China to provide the third telco player in the country.
On Tuesday, Duterte said an Indian company has also applied to become the country’s new telecommunications firm. /kga
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