Duterte prefers 3rd telco to provide best service, reasonable price

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte said the next major telecommunications player must provide the best possible service at a reasonable price.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday, Duterte laid out the administration's terms for choosing the third telco player, saying the company's services should be 'reliable, inexpensive, and secure.'

This is in line with the plan of Eliseo Rio Jr., officer-in-charge of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), who on Friday said the next player will be chosen based on highest committed level of service, with the oversight committee agreeing to dismiss the auction method.

Duterte noted that the search will be inclusive, and will be open to both local and foreign companies.

"The terms of reference for the entry of a major industry player should be reasonable and comprehensive," Duterte said.

"The only condition is that the chosen entity must provide the best possible services at reasonable accessible prices," he added.

The President said the administration aims to lower interconnection rates among players.

"This is a policy which is crucial to ensure that our solution to our telecommunication problems will be both meaningful and lasting," he said.

The DICT said the third telco may be named by December and can go fully operational by 2019 should the selection process go smoothly.

The chosen telco player will also be subject to a five-year observation by the department.