President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would personally decide on the new major telecommunication player’s entry if the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and other concerned agencies remain undecided by November.
Duterte made this reaction to reports that some applicants have backed out due to many conditions being imposed by the NTC.
“If early November wala pa (no decision yet), I will take over,” Duterte said in a tête-à-tête with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo at Malacañang Palace.
Last April, Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 11, creating an inter-agency committee to oversee the entry of a third telecom player.
Duterte ordered the creation of the inter-agency oversight committee after the NTC failed to meet the March 2018 deadline for the entry of new player that would break the duopoly of two major players – PLDTand Globe Telecom.
The oversight panel, which is tasked to assist the NTC in the selection of third major telecom player, is composed of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, Department of Finance, Office of Executive Secretary and Office of the National Security Adviser.
“You know, I’m waiting for that critical decision. Until now, wala (nothing),” the President said.
Duterte said he would prefer to select the company with the best record in business and can deliver expensive but good quality service.
“Because I’m worry about this lowest bid, hao shiao. I select yun pinakamaganda (the best) record na walang (without) breakdown,” he said.
Duterte said he will invite all businessmen and “I will decide in front of them” the new telecom player.
“Give me your position papers and I will read it. Give me 30 minutes and then I will come back and tell them. I will decide and give the line (franchise),” Duterte said.
Duterte, however, assured that he will decide through the help of the Commission on Audit (COA).
“For COA, you decide for me. I will wait for your decision. Lowest bid always ends up in disaster,” he said.
The President said the Filipino nation can expect the third major telecom player “by Christmas”.
“I will resolve it by the early of October or by early November,” he added.
Duterte earlier said a third telecom company “is a matter of paramount national interest” and necessary to improve the country’s internet speed.