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DOJ to assist selection of PH's 3rd telco

DOJ to assist selection of PH's 3rd telco
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) will assist in the selection of the third telecommunications company (telco) player in the country.

“DOJ’s participation, I believe, will be to review the terms of reference for the selection of the third telco, the contracts to be executed, the grants of licenses and permits, etc. to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

Guevarra also confirmed that the National Telecommunications Communications (NTC) has sought the DOJ's assistance on the matter.

“The NTC has referred something about the grant of CPCN (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity) to the third telco for legal opinion,” the DOJ Secretary said.

CPCN is a permit issued by a goverment agency in charge of the supervision of public facilities. It authorizes the holder of the permit to operate such a public facility within a particular area.

When asked if the DOJ would be forming a panel, Guevarra said that they have not yet received any orders.

“We have not received the directive yet. (We) will discuss with the Office of the Solicitor General next week,” he added.

At present, there are only two major telecommunication companies operating in the country – PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom.

Earlier, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) vowed to name the new major telco player, among many interested local and foreign firms, by December.

The DICT is finalizing the terms of reference for the selection process within this month.

“That has been what I've been saying publicly; in our timeline, we will have a 3rd telco by Christmas. What the President said is what we've been saying all along. The ball is in NTC's (National Telecommunications Commission) court,” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. said in a TV interview Tuesday, following the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he wants the third telco player to be identified by Christmas.

“We already are finalizing the terms of reference for the selection process; by the end of September, those interested will get their bidding documents. Then we'll know which players will join the contest,” he added.

President Duterte, in an interview with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, said he will be taking over the decision on the selection of the third telco player if this will not be resolved at the soonest possible time.

“Maybe late, early November pag wala pa, I will take over. Ilagay ko yan sa Office of the President. I will invite all dito negosyante and I will decide in front of them kung sino (Maybe late, early November if this is still not resolved, I will take over. I will place it under the Office of the President. I will invite all businessmen and I will decide in front of them who will be selected),” Duterte said.

“Give me your position papers. I will read it. Give me 30 minutes. Then I will come back and tell them: I will decide yun na (that’s it). By Christmas alam na ng tao kung sino ang third player (By Christmas, people will be able to know who is the third player),” he added.

The DICT is eyeing to conduct the bidding for the new telco by October this year.

Among the companies that expressed to bid are Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Co., Now Corporation, Converge ICT Solutions, TransPacific Broadband Group International Inc. and Easy Call Communications Philippines.

Some of the foreign investors that expressed interest are China Telecom, Surya Telecom of India, LG Uplus Corp. of South Korea, KDDI Corporation of Japan and Viettel Group of Vietnam. (PNA)

DOJ to assist selection of PH's 3rd telco DOJ to assist selection of PH's 3rd telco Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 5:23:00 PM Rating: 5

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