President Rodrigo Duterte has offered the People’s Republic of China the privilege to operate the third telecommunications carrier in the country as a means to end the existing duopoly in the vital industry, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the offer was made during the extended bilateral meeting last week between Duterte and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The Palace official said the offer to China was due in part to the country’s proven track record in the telecoms industry as well as in consideration of the warming relationship between Manila and Beijing.
“The President said China has the capital and the technology to provide efficient telecom service. With the number of subscribers that Chinese telecoms companies have in China, there can be no doubt that they are amongst the biggest in the world,” he said.
“Consider also the proximity and the fact that we want to avail of as much economic advantage that we could arising from the renewed friendly ties with China,” Roque said.
While no Chinese company has yet been designated as the third carrier, Roque said Duterte has instructed that all applications be filed and acted upon directly by the Office of the Executive Secretary.
“Upon submission of documents, it will take 45 days to decide whether or not it’s a go or no go. That’s how serious the President is in allowing a third party carrier to come in,” he said.
The offer for a Chinese company to be the third player in the telecoms industry comes after the Philippine government signed with an affiliate of Facebook to build a broadband infrastructure capable of providing a bandwidth of two terabytes per second.
On November 15, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Facebook, signed an agreement for the Strategic Engagement and Collaboration to Undertake a Reliable and Efficient Government Internet (SECURE GovNet) project.
- Published in Business