Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has stated he will personally intervene in the selection process for the nation's third telco and name the new player himself if no decision is made by November.
The president has indicated he will transfer the decision under the Office of the President and make a decision in “about 30 minutes” if the selection process is not complete by late or even early November, Rappler reported.
The selection process being held by regulator NTC has been subject to repeated delays, and the terms of reference for the process have yet to be finalized.
The selection of the market's third player was originally expected to be complete before Duterte's State of the Nation address in July, with the president initially indicated he wanted the operator to be up and running by the first quarter of next year. But due to the delays, the regulator now states that it plans to complete the selection “by the end of the year.”
The regulator will now be under significant pressure to complete the process by November. The Department of ICT has pledged to ensure that this happens.
According to reports, at least 12 companies have expressed an interest in partnering with local companies to become the market's third operator, competing with the established duopoly of PLDT and Globe. These include China Telecom, KDDI, KT and LG Uplus.