Korean firm eyes PH tele­coms sec­tor

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS -

AN­OTHER for­eign telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany has ex­pressed in­ter­est in es­tab­lish­ing op­er­a­tions in the Philip­pines, a Palace of­fi­cial said Tues­day, Jan­uary 9.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sec­re­tary Jose Ru­perto Martin An­da­nar said that apart from Bei­jing's China Tele­com, Philip­pine Tele­graph and Tele­phone Corp. (PT&T) and its South Korean telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions part­ner are mulling to en­ter the coun­try's telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try.

This, An­da­nar said, was men­tioned by act­ing In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy Sec­re­tary Eliseo Rio Jr. dur­ing a Cab­i­net meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte at the Mala­cañan Palace last Mon­day, Jan­uary 8.

"For the 21st Cab­i­net meet­ing and first Cab­i­net meet­ing this year, DICT (Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy) act­ing Sec­re­tary Rio men­tioned that two firms are in­ter­ested so far to be­come the third player in our telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try," he said in a ra­dio in­ter­view.

"First, it's the China tele­com and the con­sor­tium that has yet to be an­nounced; and sec­ond in the list is the PT&T group and its part­ner, a Korean tele­com com­pany," he added.

In Novem­ber last year, Duterte of­fered China to be­come a key player in the Philip­pines' telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try.

A month after he made the of­fer, the Pres­i­dent in­structed the DICT and the Na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion to fast­track the ap­proval of China Tele­com's ap­pli­ca­tion as third telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte was ex­pect­ing that China would be­gin its op­er­a­tion by first quar­ter of 2018.

An­da­nar gave as­sur­ance that the gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to push­ing for the en­try of a new player to make the lo­cal telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try "com­pet­i­tive."

"The DICT is mak­ing it fast to make our telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try com­pet­i­tive," he said.

He also said that pend­ing the third telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider's en­try, the two ma­jor play­ers in the coun­try, Globe Tele­com Inc. and PLDT Inc., joined the gov­ern­ment in its ob­jec­tive to spur com­pe­ti­tion and im­prove ser­vice.

The Com­mu­ni­ca­tions chief noted that the PLDT would pour in some P58 bil­lion while Globe would put bil­lion in ad­di­tional in­vest­ments.

"We can re­ally see that even just the an­nounce­ment it­self has en­cour­age two telco gi­ants to in­vest money to im­prove their ser­vices. So that in it self is al­ready vic­tory for the Filipino peo­ple," An­da­nar said. SunS­tar Philip­pines

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