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Get ready Globe, PLDT! DICT: 3rd telco player operational by March

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Filipinos can look forward to the entry of the third player in the telecommunications industry by March, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Officer in Charge Eliseo Rio Jr. said.

In an interview over dzBB radio Sunday (January 7), Rio said DICT is on track to ensure the third telco player will be up and running by the end of the first quarter, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Magkakaron tayo ng third player in three months…ma-identify na natin at pwede nang mag-umpisang mag-operate by end of March. So, gumagawa na kami ng terms of reference para sa pagpili ho kung sino yung third telco na ‘yan,” he said.

Duterte earlier instructed DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission to approve licenses and applications pertaining to the third telco players entry within seven days after complete requirements are submitted.

While China Telecoms has been chosen by the Chinese government to invest in the Philippines, Rio said it has to partner with a Philippine company to comply with foreign ownership limits.

“Isa ‘yun sa mga kandidato dahil wala pang talagang pag-award na nagyari. Pero yung China telecom, ang pipili hindi ang gobyerno, hindi kami. Ang pipili sa kanila yung private telco natin na interesadong maging third player,” he said.

Under the 1987 Constitution, foreigners are limited to owning 40 percent of a telecommunications entity, while Filipinos should own 60 percent.