BIZ BUZZ: The luckier Dennis Uy? | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: The luckier Dennis Uy?

/ 02:07 AM September 26, 2022

The debates over the need for a so-called third telco have long died down, but the local telecommunications industry remains as cutthroat as ever, with firms continuing to jockey for prime positions that will allow them to take advantage of the booming demand for connectivity in the country.

Biz Buzz hears that NOW Corp. of businessman Mel Velarde is going after Converge ICT of Pampanga-based billionaire Dennis Anthony Uy over the latter’s affiliate called Telecommunications Technology Solutions Unlimited Inc. (or Teletech, for short).

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In particular, NOW Corp. is complaining to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) why the regulator is supposedly applying two standards for firms. According to the NOW Corp. camp, the NTC is supposedly very strict in applying rules on Cellular Mobile Telephony Systems (CMTS) with DITO Telecommunity of the Davao-based Dennis Uy, while being more lax with the Pampanga-based Dennis Uy.

DITO supposedly applied for a CMTS license in 2018, while Teletech did so in 2017.

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The former was asked to pay P700 million as “participation security” via a cashier’s check, post a P25-billion bond and commit to a five-year roll-out build-up plan.

NTC chief Gamaliel Cordoba and hearing officer Nilo Lozada, despite opposition from parties like NOW Corp. citing the need for equal application of the law, issued an order in March 2020 that removed all those rules for the Pampanga-based Dennis Uy’s firm.

Why is all this coming to light now? Well, word on the street is that the quasi-judicial hearings have been running smoothly and a CMTS license is rumored to be coming out soon.

Word on the street is that the NOW Corp. camp is grating at all the luck that the Pampanga-based businessman is enjoying, so much so that even the issue of Teletech’s franchise is supposedly being ignored by NTC.

They pointed out that when the firm’s franchise became law in September 2012, the name of the company in the franchise was “Telecommunications Technology Solutions Inc.” But the company that applied for the franchise had another name: “Telecommunications Technology Solutions Unlimited Inc.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission certified that there was no company with the name spelled out in the franchise law. Years later, the company was re-registered the word “unlimited” and oppositors raised hell with this issue of a non-existent company in the franchise law, but NTC says it was a mere typographical error.

Of course, we sought the reaction of the “lucky” Dennis Uy of Pampanga on this issue and he replied that he knew that the principal of NOW Corp. is behind the ruckus. But what does NOW Corp. want? We’ll leave that for another day. Abangan!

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—Daxim L. Lucas

Security Bank Hall at National Museum

Lovers of Filipino art and heritage are in for a treat after Security Bank Corp. formally turned over 14 prized sculptures of Guillermo Tolentino, 1973 National Artist for Sculpture, to the National Museum of the Philippines as it completed the renovation of the Security Bank Hall at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

These 14 sculptures were previously loaned by the Bank as part of Gallery XII – Eskultor ng Lahing Filipino: Honoring the Life and Work of Guillermo Tolentino, a permanent exhibition, which opened in July 2013.

The 14 sculptures donated by the Bank to the National Museum of Fine Arts include the Model of the Commonwealth Triumphal, Bust of President Manuel Roxas, Bust of Lapu-Lapu, Bust of President Manuel L. Quezon, Bust of Andres Bonifacio, Bust of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Miniature bust of Dr. Jose Rizal.

“The National Museum of the Philippines is grateful to Security Bank for donating 14 sculptures of 1973 National Artist for Sculpture, Guillermo Tolentino. These sculptures are part of the country’s history and have become a symbol of excellence for many artists not only here in the Philippines, but also abroad. We hope that more Filipinos will visit the museum and witness first-hand the exquisite work and style of one of the country’s best,” said National Museum Director Jeremy Barns during the reception last Saturday.

Tolentino was born in 1890 and was named National Artist of the Philippines for Sculpture in 1973, three years before his death. Tolentino, along with fellow National Artist and painter Fernando Amorsolo, dominated the Philippine art scene from the 1930s to the 1950s. He followed the classical style and mainly used plaster and metal to create his art pieces.

Security Bank remains one of the financial institutions in the Philippines that actively support the preservation of the country’s culture and heritage.

“Security Bank has been a proud advocate of Filipino art and culture for many years and has been a partner of the National Museum since 2013. With the reintroduction of the Security Bank Hall underpinned by the official handover of Tolentino’s pieces, we hope to spark a fresh interest in historic art and make these easily accessible to visitors and the community for generations to come,” said Sanjiv Vohra, Security Bank president and CEO.

The newly renovated Security Bank Hall is located on the second floor of the National Museum of Fine Arts and will be open to the public starting Sept. 27, 2022.

—Tina Arceo-Dumlao INQ

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