In a statement issued yesterday, the DICT said it maintains its commitment to facilitate an objective, transparent, and legal process for the entry of a new major player in the Philippine public telecommunications market.
Boy Santos
DICT leaves decision on Mislatel franchise validity to Congress
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is confident Congress will resolve the issue on the validity of the franchise of country’s third telecommunications player in a fair manner.

In a statement issued yesterday, the DICT said it maintains its commitment to facilitate an objective, transparent, and legal process for the entry of a new major player in the Philippine public telecommunications market.

“The DICT is trusting the wisdom of the Congress to decide on the validity of Mislatel’s franchise. We are confident that our representatives from both Houses would keep the public interest in mind in resolving the matter,” the agency said.

The validity of Mislatel’s franchise was brought up by the Senate committee on public service in hearing last Thursday.

During the hearing, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Mislatel violated the conditions of its privilege for failing to continuously operate a year after securing congressional approval of its franchise in 1998.

He said they need not do anything because the franchise “is ipso facto revoked.”

Sen. Grace Poe, who heads the committee,  said the National Telecommunications Commission should have raised the issue on the Mislatel franchise from the very beginning.

“The department is ready to accept the decision of the Congress on the issue of the new major player and act accordingly to make sure that the Filipinos get a third player that they deserve, may it be Mislatel or another,” the DICT said.

In the meantime, the Mislatel consortium has committed to complete its post-qualification requirements to obtain its certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN).

So far, the consortium has secured PCC approval of the bidding agreement implementation.

It has until Feb. 17 to furnish NTC a copy of its  business plan, authentication/consularization of foreign documents, and roll out plan.

“Despite legal and technical hurdles, the DICT remains optimistic that it will soon deliver its promise of a competitive telecommunications industry to the public,” the agency said.

The Mislatel consortium, composed of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., state-owned China Telecom, and franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc., has been declared as the provisional new major player in the telecommunications industry in Nov. 7 last year after its offer was the only one of three bids that was found complete and qualified.

On Nov. 19, it received a new major player confirmation order and has been given 90 days since then to submit to the NTC the necessary documents and required performance security for the issuance of its CPCN.

DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY MISLATEL
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