₱10-B Net Worth Required For The Third Telco
According to the draft circular on selecting a service provider proposed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the third telecommunications player that enters the country should have a net worth of at least ₱10 billion and have “proven technical capability” to provide the service.
If it is a consortium, it must be at least 60% owned by Filipinos, with at least one member holding a congressional franchise to install, operate and maintain networks which should be valid until December 31, 2023. DICT’s website indicated that a final circular will take effect by the first week of March this year. The government will consult stakeholders on these proposed terms over the next few weeks before the rules and regulations are finalized.
Malacañang made it clear that the third telco will still undergo bidding. Under the DICT’s draft circular proposed auction rules, the “highest calculated and responsive bidder” would be chosen. The winning bidder should then be able to start commercial operations not later than 12 months after the date of award, the draft said.
It said the company must “cover at least 80 percent of the provincial capital cities and towns and 80 percent of the chartered cities within five years from the date of award.” Failure to comply with any of the provisions in the circular would result in the automatic recall of assigned radio frequencies, the DICT said. Failure to comply with the 70-30 debt-to-equity ratio within two years would also result in the recall of the award, to be replaced by the second winning bidder.