NOW Telecom maintains position to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of having a new major telco player (MTP) in the country by November of this year. However, NOW Telecom continues to be bullish against barriers that tend to be unfair to Filipino entrepreneurs.
“We did not file the suit against NTC (National Telecommunication Commission) to delay the bidding, but to uphold the right of any bidder to ensure a transparent and fair process,” Atty. Aldrich Dy, lead counsel of NOW Telecom, reiterated in an interview after the Senate hearing on the 3rd telco bid chaired by Sen. Grace Poe last 22 October.
Dy revealed that to show its commitment to participate in the process of NMP selection, NOW Telecom bought the bidding documents.
“While NOW Telecom remains firm in questioning certain provisions in the ToR (term of reference) for the NMP selection process, particularly those insertions of new requirements such as the P700 million participation security, the P14 billion to P24 billion performance security and P10 million non-refundable per appeal fee, believing that these are a violation of the law and serve as barriers to entry in the bidding process, NOW Telecom emphasizes that it did not ask the court to stop the bidding,” Dy stressed.
Dy explained that NOW Telecom only asked the court to order NTC to stop implementing these provisions in the memorandum circular that are detrimental to its rights and raised its concern over said requirements that had not been taken up during public consultations for the drafting of the ToR.
Dy also reminded the public that despite NOW Telecom’s prayer for preliminary injunction, NTC still has the responsibility to complete the bidding by 7 November because this is a mandate NTC has to perform.
Moreover, in its attempt to proactively participate in creating a system that will ensure participating bidders are the most qualified and capable in providing best service, NOW Telecom insisted that said bidders submit a business and rollout plan along with the bidding documents for NTC to seriously consider before choosing the winning NMP.
NOW Telecom also proposed that the “number of hard-to-reach areas” be included in the criteria for selecting the NMP to ascertain inclusivity of beneficiaries to this public service.
Unfortunately, these items were not considered in the final version of the memorandum circular.
“We are one with the clamor of the Filipino nation for a third telco, and the fourth and the fifth, but we want the bids to be presented on 7 November to President Duterte himself, because we believe that he has the political will to remove all provisions in the ToR that are onerous, confiscatory and potentially extortionary and that he has the moral ascendancy to choose the most deserving candidate,” Dy disclosed.
Dy finally remarked that NOW Telecom believes the Duterte administration will enable this telco bid parameters “potentially extortionary” NOW Telecom maintains position to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of having a new major telcoplayer in the country by November of this year.