Senators open to China as 3rd telco player


Senators are receptive to the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to break the duopoly in the telecommunication industry by inviting a third player from China.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel on Tuesday said a third telco was “exactly what our country needs to end a telco duopoly mired in mediocrity; a situation that has allowed them to hold the Filipino consumer hostage to poor communications and data services.”

“By acting decisively to address this problem, the President is showing the kind of political will necessary to address the long-standing problems of our country,” Pimentel said.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the entry of a third telco into the Philippine market would “inject more competition into the equation, which will ultimately result in the improvement of call, text, and data services enjoyed by consumers.”

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said competition was always good for consumers as local firms would be forced to upgrade and compete.

“It keeps businesses on their toes which is probably why the telcos are now spending for telco infra. A faster internet will help attract more business and tourism investments,” Angara said in a text message.

Sen. Grace Poe said the entry of qualified foreign players into the telco market would be a welcome development. “Healthy competition could lead to better services for the consumers,” she said.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the idea of inviting more players into the telecommunications industry with the objective of making it more dynamic and consumer-friendly was welcome.

“However, the government must see to it that the invitation is extended to all interested parties and not only to a select few. Also, the government must provide the details of this new competition policy and ensure that all rules are observed,” she said in a text message.


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