PT&T, SEAR file motions for reconsideration on 3rd telco bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — At least two telecommunications companies are still pushing to become the nation's third major network provider.

SEAR Telecom -- the consortium of Mindanao-based TierOne Communications with the Luis Chavit Singson Group of Companies-- and the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company (PT&T) both filed their respective motions for reconsideration at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Friday.

Both companies were disqualified from the selection process due to alleged missing documents.

The selection committee found that SEAR did not have all the participation certificates of members in their consortium. It likewise discovered that PT&T lacked a certificate of technical capability, which should  have come from the NTC.

Enclosed in SEAR's motion for reconsideration was an agreement between the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (Mislatel) with Digital Technology, Inc., a company that is majority-owned by TierOne.

Mislatel won the selection process Tuesday, having entered into the bid with Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corporation and Chinese government-owned China Telecom. It bagged 456.80 points in the 500-point selection test of the NTC, based on its committed coverage, internet speed and operating budget.

SEAR also enclosed a copy of its Form B, which claimed that it had a earned 500 points in the selection criteria.

In a statement, PT&T said that it had met all of NTC'S requirements based on its original terms of reference (TOR) for the selection of another major player in Philippine telecommunications, published as Memorandum Circular 09-09-2018.

Bid bulletins published by the NTC in October, however, said that the requirement for "regional operations" would only apply to foreign telcos while local telcos would have to prove it had "national operations", PT&T added.

"The interpretation is erroneous because there is no distinction between foreign and local company in the TOR insofar as the applicability of the term "regional operations" is concerned. This is clearly discriminatory against Filipino telco companies," PT&T said.

As for its failure to present a certificate of technical capability, PT&T said that it requested for one from the NTC as early as October.

Speaking to CNN Philippines yesterday, Telecommunications Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said that a disqualified bidder needed two things to grab the third telco spot from Mislatel: the NTC to recognize its motion for reconsideration, and a higher score than Mislatel.

READ: Disqualified bidders still have chance at 3rd telco position -- Rio

CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio contributed to this report.