The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is sticking to impose participation securities to New Major Player bidders in the selection process as way to prove their financial capacity to compete with the incumbent telcos.

This is in connection with NOW Telecom’s allegations in dubbing certain provisions of the Memorandum Circular for the Rules and Regulations on the Selection Process of a New Major Player (NTC MC 09-09-2018) as a ‘money-making’ scheme.

“The entry of the NMP is no small matter and to set the bar low for those who apparently cannot meet the standards is detrimental to the Filipino people, our target beneficiaries,” said Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. in a statement in support to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the implementing agency of the said MC.

“This is [also] to attract possible participants while ensuring that the winner will be able to withstand intensive competition against the entrenched duopoly,” he added.

On 9 October, NOW Telecom filed a case against the NTC contesting the Participation Security, Performance Security, and the non-refundable Appeal Fee.

Rio emphasized that the required securities and fees are consistent with the rationale of bidding and procurement processes and are even lower than those required by Republic Act 9184 (Government  Procurement Reform Act).

He also questioned the motive behind the timing of NOW’s complaints since it had the opportunity to submit their position paper on the matter before the MC was finalized and took effectivity.

The contested provisions claimed as insertions by NOW Telecom President and CEO Mel Velarde were already stated in the draft version of the MC published on 26 June 2018.

“Is this act of NOW Telecom just to further delay the entry of the third telco (NMP)?,” Rio concluded.

Read the full statement here.