3rd telco bidder sues NTC over alleged unlawful insertion of new requirements

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) — One of the firms vying to become the country's third major telecommunication player has filed a legal complaint against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

In a statement, NOW Telecom said it filed a case Monday on the grounds of supposed legal violations in the NTC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology's (DICT) terms of reference.

The company claimed that the agencies included the following requirements, which were not tackled during public hearings:

₱700 million "Participation Security"

₱14 billion to ₱24 billion "Performance Security"

₱10 million non-refundable "Appeal Fee"

The three requirements, according to NOW Telecom, "are barriers to entry" of companies opting to be the next telco provider.

It added that the new guidelines are against current laws and "can be declared onerous, confiscatory and potentially extortionary."

"NOW Telecom is suing NTC to protect its public shareholders and President Rodrigo Duterte from any suspicion that he is complicit to the money making schemes in the TOR for the third telco," Mel Velarde, president and chief executive officer of its parent company NOW Corp., was quoted as saying.

The NTC and DICT last week released the timeline for the selection of the next telco player. The process began on October 6 and will end on November 7.

NOW Telecom wants President Rodrigo Duterte to receive all the bidding documents on November 7 and choose the new player.

Duterte had earlier said that he aims to pick out a new major telco player by November.