A consortium composed of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecommunications has qualified to be the lone bidder to be the Philippines’ third telecommunications player. Two other contenders were disqualified by the National Telecommunications Commission’s Selection Committee after preliminary evaluation.
The process promises to be tricky. This early, one of the disqualified bidders is saying the bidding process was unfair. Another entity is saying it will file a complaint against the successful consortium, Mislatel, for breach of contract in the use of its franchise.
The public has never expected the bidding for such a big undertaking to be easy; in fact, we have waited long—too long—for the process to move forward. There is no question on the need for a third player. Telecommunication has become a touchy issue because poor service, high costs, and a lack of alternatives have defined Filipinos’ mobile and Internet experience over the year.
Despite these constraints, calling, texting, and going on social media continue to be a way of life for millions of Filipinos.
Again the national virtue-slash-vice of resilience comes into play, with people making do with what is available just because they feel they have no other option. As a result, those who claim to serve their needs often do so by their own standards and at their glacial pace.
Then again, just because the public is desperate for a third player does not mean the process should be done haphazardly, or questionably. There is just too much at stake.
We will be watching the developments on the bidding as we assert our right to better service, and more options.