Philippines' Duterte urges fast-track for third telco

20 Dec 2017
Daily News

The Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte has announced plans to fast-track the entry of a third operator into the market, and wants the operator to be up and running within the first three months of next year.

Duterte has directed the Department of Information and Communications Technology and regulator the National Telecommunications Commission to approve all applications and licenses within seven days of a completed submission, ABS-CBN News reported.

The president last month approached the Chinese government with the opportunity to become the Philippines' third major player in partnership with a local company. The as-yet unnamed Chinese telco would take a 40% stake in the venture with a consortium of local companies expected to own the remaining 60%.

Philippines' courts have meanwhile been warned against interfering and prolonging the process of the entry of the third player.

The government has meanwhile moved to allay fears that China's entry into the telecoms sector may compromise national security in light of the ongoing South China Sea dispute, noting that foreign players already hold minority stakes in incumbent operators Globe and PLDT.

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