House grants 25-year franchise for PH's 3rd telco player DITO

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

August 24, 2020, 6:51 pm

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final a measure renewing the franchise of the Dennis-Uy led Mislatel consortium, presently known as the DITO Telecommunity Corp., for another 25 years.

With 240 affirmative votes, 7 negative votes, and no abstention, the chamber approved House Bill 7332, which grants the 25-year franchise application of DITO, as the country's third major telecommunication player, to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain wired and/or wireless telecommunications systems.

The bill prohibits the grantee to lease, transfer, sell or assign the franchise, rights, or privileges or its controlling interest without the approval of Congress.

The grantee shall be mandated to conform to the ethics of honest enterprise, operate its stations in a satisfactory manner at all times, and to extend its services in compliance with the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

On July 8, 2019, Duterte awarded Mislatel Consortium, now Dito Telecommunity, the permit to operate as the Philippines’ third telco provider.

Dito Telecommunity is composed of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Udenna Corp, and China Telecom.

It was conferred with the status of New Major Player in the telecommunications industry by the National Telecommunications Commission on November 19, 2018. Mislatel’s franchise in 1998 was questioned after it failed to operate within a year but was given reprieve after lawmakers called for the urgent need for a third player to improve the country's telecommunications services. DITO aims to begin commercial operations in March 2021. (PNA)