Dennis Uy, Chavit Singson firms among aspirants for 3rd telco
MANILA, Philippines — Companies led by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson headlined yesterday the start of the search for the country’s new major player in the telecommunications industry.
Five companies have initially bought bid documents for the third telco player spot.
Among the firms that purchased bid documents yesterday were Uy’s Udenna Corp., TierOne Communications International Inc. in partnership with Singson’s LCS Group of Companies, and Norway’s Telenor Group.
The two other companies declined to disclose their identities, but NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said one is a local entity.
“We are happy with the turnout so far. We were surprised with the turnout. We were just expecting three to four bidders, but in just the first day five have already bought bid documents. In fact, those who have been vocal have yet to buy,” Cordoba said.
Udenna is Uy’s holding company which has been buying into a vast array of companies in various industries, from logistics, hotels, schools and convenience stores, among others.
The LCS Group of Companies, founded by its president and chairman Singson, in its website said it is “dedicated to developing a better future by creating value to society and the country.”
In a statement, Singson said the purchase of the bid documents represents the first step in finally bringing much needed world-class telecommunications services across the archipelago.
“The TierOne Consortium assures the Filipino people, specially those in areas outside the key cities of the country, that they will no longer be treated like second-class citizens when it comes to telco services - we will give everybody a better chance to enjoy the benefits that connectivity gives people in more advanced nations,” Singson said.
Monday was the scheduled issuance of selection documents under the timeline set by the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission last week.
Companies are allowed to buy bid documents until the submission and opening of bids on Nov. 7.
Cordoba said last month that participating companies and the “provisional new major player” would be known by the day of the submission and opening of bids.
The selection committee will then verify, validate and ascertain all the submitted selection documents of the provisional new major player within a period of three days and should all the documents be found valid, it will be declared as the third telco player.
The third telco player will have 90 days from the issuance of its confirmation order to submit documents necessary for the processing of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
President Duterte wants a third telco player to compete with the existing duopoly and provide the best possible services at reasonably accessible prices.
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio earlier said a total of six local firms and seven foreign companies have expressed interest on bidding for the spot to become the country’s next major telco player.
The local firms are PT&T, NOW Corp., Converge ICT, Transpacific Broadband Group, EasyCall, and Tier One.
The interested foreign companies, which would serve as partners or form a consortium with a local franchise holder, meanwhile, include China Telecom, Korea Telecommunications and LG Uplus from Korea, Telenor of Norway, Vietnam Telecom, one Japanese firm, and a US company.