PT&T to appeal disqualification in 3rd telco bidding

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) A company operating for decades is not giving up on its bid to become the third major telecommunications player just yet, as it vows to challenge its disqualification from the selection process.

Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) on Wednesday said it will "definitely" file an appeal on the National Telecommunications Commission's (NTC) decision that disqualified it for lack of a certification of technical capability, one of the requirements in the terms of reference (ToR) to bid for the new major player slot.

"As far as we're concerned, it's not yet done because there's still the avenue for motion for reconsideration. We're gonna file, we're gonna raise our concern. We don't agree with their ruling that we're not qualified," James Velasquez, PT&T president and CEO, told CNN Philippines, adding that the decision was "discriminatory" and "in a way anti-Filipino."

Velasquez said a sudden change in the ToR rules out PT&T as operating on a national scale for the last 10 years.

"The bid bulletin which is after we bought the documents changed it to say that the definition of region only applied to a foreign telco and not to a local telco, which our team finds unfair," he said.

Based on the requirement, local firms should have operations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to be considered as national telco company.

"We have been around for 56 years and in the last 10 years we're innovating, we're now into broadband," he said. "I think the rules were clear in the memorandum circular, we just want the NTC to take a look at that."

Velasquez also refuted the NTC's claim that his company refused to accept a prior notice of disqualification days before the bidding process.

"Until today I was there they didn't give us the notice," he said.

The government has announced that Mislatel Consortium, a joint venture of Davao-based Udenna Corporation, its logistics arm Chelsea Logistics Holdings, and state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation, will be the provisional third telco player.