China’s biggest telco chosen to break PH duopoly
Beijing has chosen China Telecom, China’s largest telecommunication company, as the third new player that would try to break that duopoly in the Philippine telecommunications market, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Sunday.
Andanar said Acting Information and Communication Secretary Eliseo Rio told a recent Cabinet meeting that the state-owned company would be entering the Philippine market.
“In our last Cabinet meeting, which was only last week, [Rio] reported that China has chosen the company that would invest in our country. It is China Telecom,” Andanar said in a radio interview.
“China Telecom is the biggest telecommunications company in China,” he added.
Andanar said China Telecom would have to find a local partner since the Constitution allows foreigners to own only up to 40 percent of public utilities.
“If you are a foreign investor, you cannot go beyond 40 percent,” he said. “So what then? They will have to find a partner here in the Philippines.”
“That partner should not be a small-time company. It should have a lot of money,” he added.
Last Nov. 20, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque revealed in a press briefing that President Rodrigo Duterte offered to China the “privilege” of operating as the third telco player in the country to “break up” the industry duopoly of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Roque said that the President made the offer during his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Malacañang.
“During the bilateral talks between President Duterte and the Chinese Premier, President Duterte offered to the People’s Republic of China the privilege to operate the third telecom’s carrier in the country,” Roque said.
“This is the latest instance of the President proving that he has the political will to do what is necessary to benefit the Filipino people,” he said. “I repeat, the announcement is that duopoly, that telecoms duopoly is about to end.”
Roque said that the President ordered that all applications from prospective new players should be filed at the Office of the Executive Secretary, which was given 45 days to act on them.
“The Philippine President is so serious about this that he has instructed that all applications be filed and acted upon directly by the Office of the Executive Secretary,” Roque said. “He mentioned [that] upon submission of documents, it will take 45 days to decide whether or not it’s a go or no go. That’s how serious the President is in allowing a third party carrier to come in.” /atm