President Rodrigo Duterte had denied the appeal of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to delay its action of selecting third telecommunication company in the Philippines until May.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed on Tuesday that the President is firm to his timeline that he will name the third telco player in March.
“The President was emphatic and issued a warning to the critics of the entry of third telco player not to test the will of the government,” Roque told reporters.
According to Roque, DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio asked Duterte during the Cabinet meeting on Monday for additional months before the government name the third telco player, but the President rejected the plea.
“There was a request from Officer-in-Charge Secretary Rio that they be given two additional months or until May to award and to ensure that the third telecoms carrier is up and about, this was not approve in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting,” he said in a Palace briefing.
Roque added that Duterte “was particularly displeased with the fact that in order to have a third telecoms player we would need to find frequencies to be allotted to the third telecom player and he was displeased with the fact that frequency given to a shell company CURE which apparently was given for free would have to be bought back by government in order that the third player could be given these frequencies.”
“The President rejected that proposal, that we pay for frequencies that we gave out for free and he warned everyone involved not to test the resolve of the President in allowing a third telecoms carrier to enter the country,” he said.
Duterte had earlier asked China to become the third telco player in the country to break the duopoly of the two telecommunications giants, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.
On December 10, Malacañang said that the Chinese government has chosen China Telecom.