The entry of the new major telecommunications player (NMP) has gained developments with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) submitting the draft Terms of Reference for the selection process. In a meeting of the Oversight Committee last 28 May 2018, consisting of the DICT, Department of Finance (DOF), the Office of the Executive Secretary, and the National Security Adviser, discussed the following:

  • the concern on the Frequency Spectrum (formerly awarded to BayanTel);
  • the establishment of common tower policy;
  • the commercialization of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines – Transco Dark Fiber;
  • the lowering of interconnection rates.

The resolution of said four key issues is desirable to ensure not only the successful implementation of the selection process of the NMP but also, more importantly, the sustainability of the NMP that will be selected so as to avoid the repeat of what happened in the past.

The Oversight Committee, formed pursuant to Administrative Order 11, has agreed to tackle the said matters at hand.

“Once these major issues have been fully resolved, the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) will be revised, if necessary, and shall at once be published to gather comments and inputs from all stakeholders,” said Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

“We will leave no stone unturned in providing better telecommunication services to the Filipino people the soonest time possible,” Acting Secretary Rio added .

Representatives from the NTC, Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) were also present during the said meeting to give their insights on various issues.

Addressing the lowering of interconnection rates, though, has gained momentum.

In the same meeting, the NTC has reported that it already came up with a memorandum circular lowering the interconnection rates for mobile voice calls from P2.50 to P0.50 and for short messaging services (SMS), from P0.15 to P0.05. The said memorandum circular will be the subject of a public hearing on June 13, 2018.

This is pursuant to the directives of the DICT under Department Order No. 2018-02 released on 11 May 2018.