President Rodrigo Duterte has formally ordered the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to push ahead with the search for the country’s third telecommunications player. In response to the directive, the DICT said it will publish a draft selection of rules for the new telco player this week, according to the DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. He said that he has discussed the recent delays in the telco selection process with President Duterte during the National ICT Summit in Davao City last week. Rio said that one of the main causes of the delay in selection was the need for the DICT to thoroughly vet any potential third telco bidder to ensure that it is sufficiently robust to compete with the two incumbent telcos in the country. To date, there have been about five private companies that have shown interest, but as the terms of reference are still under revision and public discussion, these companies have yet to make a formal bid.
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