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Palace welcomes entry of 3rd telco player, says selection process fair

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/8/2018 Gorgonio, Luis
a man holding a microphone: Office of the Presidential Spokesperson FB Office of the Presidential Spokesperson FB

Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the entry of a third telecommunications player in the country, noting that genuine competition can only come with a new major player that may break the existing duopoly in the industry.

"Our people have long waited for a reliable, efficient, and inexpensive telecommunications service. The President’s strong political will has laid the foundation for its realization," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) declared Mislatel Consortium as the country’s provisional third telco, saying that its bid documents were "qualified" and "complete."

The consortium is made up of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., its subsidiary Chealsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and state-owned China Telecommunications Corp.

Uy was one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s significant campaign contributors in his  presidential race.

According to his statement of contributions and expenditures, Uy contributed P30 million to Duterte’s campaign kitty for the 2016 polls.

Panelo noted that the preliminary selection process was transparent, fair, and was done in accordance with laws and with pertinent rules and regulations.

"Complying with the legal and constitutional requirements, Mislatel won over the two other bidders. Impositions in favor of the government and the end users have been made such as the requirement of performance bonds to ensure sound performance by the new player," he said.

"In the spirit of fairness, losing bidders can appeal their cases before appropriate agencies," Panelo added.

Panelo also emphasized that Duterte, who had given the timeline for a third player to come in not later than November, does not interfere with the duty of his administration's key officials as long as they properly perform their mandates.

Meanwhile, infrastructure-oriented think tank Infrawatch PH called for the disqualification of the Mislatel consortium over its partner's loss of franchise in 2003.

Terry Ridon, the group's convener, said Mislatel is non-operational as it has been automatically revoked in 2003 for its failure to join the stock market. —Anna Felicia Bajo/LBG, GMA News

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