The Department of Information and Communications Technology says it will respect the Senate’s decision on the validity of the franchise of the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company
(Mislatel), part of a consortium named as the Philippines’ third telecommunication player.
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But the DICT said Saturday it “maintains its commitment to facilitate an objective, transparent, and legal process of entry of a new major player in the Philippines’ public telecommunications market.”
“With this, the DICT is trusting the wisdom of Congress to decide on the validity of Mislatel’s franchise,” which was at the center of the Senate inquiry on Friday.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon during the hearing described the franchise “void” as the company had not operated within a year since it was granted franchise in April 1998.
In its statement issued during the weekend, the DICT said it remained confident that lawmakers from both Houses would “keep the public interest in resolving the matter.”
“Nevertheless, the Department is ready to accept the decision of the Congress on the issue of the NPB and act accordingly to make sure that the Filipinos get a third player that they deserve, may it be Mislatel or another,” DICT’s statement said.
It clarified that Mislatel would continue to complete its post-qualification requirements to obtain its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
Citing the report of the National Telecommunications Commission during the Friday hearing, the DICT said Mislatel had secured a Philippine Competition Commission approval of Bidding Agreement Implementation and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s clearance, finding terms of Bidding Agreement compliant with foreign equity ownership.
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