ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
DICT exec says no details yet on 3rd telco player in PHL
An official of Department of Information and Communications Technology on Wednesday said that a third local franchise has yet to express interest in partnering with a Chinese-based telecommunications service provider, which is expected to break the present "duopoly" in the industry.
"Wala pa tayong detalye sa nagpahayag ng interes na ... maging third player [na] mag-partner sa isang Chinese telco," DICT officer-in-charge Undersecretary Eliseo Mijares Rio Jr. said in an interview on "Unang Balita."
Rio said that the 1987 Constitution restricts foreign ownership of a telecommunication entity to only 40 percent, and reserves the other 60 percent to Filipino citizens or corporations.
"So kailangan hong i-partner natin yung Filipino telco na interesado maging third player to partner with a Chinese invited by President [Rodrigo Duterte]," Rio said.
This came after President Duterte offered China the opportunity to enter the Philippine telecommunications industry in a bid to break a longstanding duopoly, whose services have continued to frustrate consumers.
Improving our telecommunications industry is one of the President's priorities, Rio said, noting that the President had used the bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as an opportunity to make the offer for a third major player.
"Nangangailangan tayo ng konting tulong sa ating sitwasyon sa ating telecommunications at 'yun ang pinaka-priority ni Presidente na pahusayin yung ating telekomunikasyon, in fact matandaan niyo nagbabala siya na nga yung dalawang telco natin na kung hindi sila magpahusay ng kanilang serbisyo mapipilitan siyang magpasok ng investors sa ibang bansa," Rio said.
In 2015, Australia's Telstra Corp. Ltd. negotiated a joint venture deal with San Miguel Corporation, but the negotiations were scrapped after both companies failed to agree on an equity structure for the joint venture.
Meanwhile, Rio said that the entry of a new telecommunication carrier in the country will guarantee improved services of current players and will also result to a cheaper call, text, and data services.
"Dahil sa competition, 'yun ang iiral para gumanda yung serbisyo, the more competition we have, the better for our subscribers," he said.
The Philippine government recently teamed up with Facebook for the creation of a cable landing system set to improve internet speed to as fast as 2 terabits per second through connecting the country to the rest of the Asia and the United States starting 2019.
Under the project dubbed "Strategic Engagement and Collaboration to Undertake a Reliable and Efficient Government Internet (Secure Gov.Net)," Facebook will construct and operate a cable system that will land in the cable stations in Baler, Aurora and in Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union.
Facebook will also provide a spectrum equivalent to at least 2 million megabits per second or 2 terabits per second, equivalent to the capability of the duopoly (PLDT and Globe).
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