Duterte: India interested in PH telco slot

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President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on January 2018.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 21) — India has expressed interest in providing a new telecommunications player for the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday.

"India is also interested to enter into the telecom industry and we are considering," Duterte said on Tuesday during an event of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Phils. Inc. in Malacañang.

He was talking about the businesses Indian nationals have already ventured in the country, including in the construction sector.

He said he spoke with some of India's businessmen during his official visit there in January for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India Commemorative Summit.

LOOK: Duterte attends ASEAN-India Summit

Duterte is pushing for a third player to enter the country by March 2018 to break the telco duopoly between PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.

Earlier, the Palace said the DICT requested to extend the deadline for the third telco player until May, but this was denied by the President.

Read: Duterte wants DICT to stick with March target for third telco player

Duterte had offered China a chance to enter the telco industry as a third player last year. Malacañang later clarified any company should still undergo bidding.

Read: Roque: Duterte's offer of telco role to China a 'political decision'

A foreign company can only own 40 percent of the third player, while a consortium of Filipino companies will share in the remaining 60 percent, based on the draft rules and regulations proposed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

CNN Philippines' VJ Bacungan and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.