Duterte creates oversight committee for entry of 3rd telco player

Pia Ranada
Duterte creates oversight committee for entry of 3rd telco player
The committee, led by the Department of Information and Communications Technology and counting the national security adviser as a member, will help select frequencies for the new telco player

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte created an oversight committee to monitor and assist in the setting up of a 3rd telecommunications player in the Philippines.

Created through Administrative Order No. 11, signed on April 6, the committee has the power to assist the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in formulating the terms of reference (TOR) for the selection and assignment of radio frequencies.


 

It is also supposed to monitor the compliance of the NTC and other government agencies with the TOR.

The oversight committee is to be headed by a representative from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), with the Department of Finance (DOF) delegated as vice chairperson.

Its members are the Office of the Executive Secretary and the national security adviser.

The committee will cease to exist within 30 days of the selection and assignment of the frequencies to the new telecommunications player.

Duterte created the committee days before he flew to China for his 3rd visit. The President had previously invited China to suggest a Chinese company to help set up the 3rd telecommunications player in the Philippines. The government said this is to break up the duopoly in the crucial industry.

China has chosen China Telecom to help establish the telecommunications company, which they will have to do with a Philippine partner. (READ: Cases over regulatory fees hound some 3rd telco aspirants)

The offer was made to China, the Palace said, because of its proven capability to provide telecom services to millions of users.

The last time the Philippine government entered into a communications deal with a Chinese company was in 2007 when the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Chinese firm ZTE for a national broadband network.

The project, however, was marred by allegations of overpricing and corruption among government officials who brokered the deal. (READ: Philippines to ‘add sweeteners’ in guidelines for 3rd telco auction– Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.