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Lutong Macau! Winnie Monsod questions granting of franchise to Villars’ company before 3rd telco’s selection

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Former socioeconomic planning secretary Winnie Monsod smells something fishy with the passage of the law granting the Villars’ telecommunications company, Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc., a 25-year franchise.

Monsod, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, said the timing of Republic 11089’s passage was suspicious because it came amid the tight competition for the third telco player in the country.

“What smooth timing. The franchise is given just in time for the Villar company to bid for that third slot. There are now nine interested bidders for that slot. But with Villar mère in the Senate, Villar fils the head of the Department of Public Works and Highways and his wife a congresswoman (party list) until August this year when she was sworn in as justice undersecretary, how do you think the other bidders will feel, with that kind of influence backing up this new bidder, which will be headed by another Villar fils? Lutong Macao,” Monsod said in her October 27 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said that the third telco player will be chosen on November 7. It also confirmed that Streamtech has bought bid documents to take part in the selection process.

Despite the advantages stacked in the Villars’ favor, Monsod said she has faith that DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. will choose the most deserving company as the third telco player.

“Rio is one of the few officials in the Duterte Cabinet who seems to know what he is doing,” she said.

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Kaya todo dikit! Duterte grants 25-year franchise to Villar’s telco