No new deadline for entry of third telco player, Palace says
After failure to meet the March deadline, President Rodrigo Duterte has not set any new specific timeline for the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the entry of a third telecommunications player in the country, Malacanang said on Thursday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said what Duterte wants now is for the third telco player to operate in the country as soon as possible.
Asked if the president set a new deadline for the entry of third telco, he said, "There's no more deadline that was set. The deadline was March, then it was not met. Then as soon as possible."
DICT reportedly said it has been eyeing to have the third telco company in the country by late June or July before Duterte's State of the Nation Address later July.
"Whether or not he is happy, that's the reality. What can he do? At least he prompted that actual steps be undertaken leading to the announcement in June," Roque said.
"Had he not exercise the political will, we would still have bickerings from the two, the duopoly and machinations and orchestrations against the third telecoms," he added.
Duterte earlier ordered the DICT and the other concerned agencies to make sure a third telco player should be put in place by the first quarter. However, the DICT, the lead agency, failed to meet the deadline.
Duterte initially offered China to be the country's third telco player.
But later, other foreign telecom companies from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India have expressed interest to invest in the Philippines.
There were calls for a third telco player in the country due to complaints of poor services of the major duopoly - PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom. Celerina Monte/DMS