Poe to DICT: Stop 'dilly-dallying' over 3rd telco project

Poe to DICT: Stop 'dilly-dallying' over 3rd telco project

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) not to “dilly-dally” and just perform its task with regards to the third telecommunications (telco) player in the country.

“Their mandate as the overseer of the telecommunications industry is full and this is their project,” she told reporters in a text message on Monday.

Poe issued the statement after DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said his department could not award frequencies to the provisional third telco without the approval of Congress on its ownership transfer.

But, Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, said that the DICT should not “micro-manage” the issue.

“It is not an initiative of the Senate or Congress, but an executive/administrative project. In this instance, the DICT and NTC [National Telecommunications Commission]. This is not the time to dilly-dally, they assessed it, they should pursue it and they should deliver. DICT should just perform its task,” she added.

Poe also explained that the resolution, seeking to transfer the ownership of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (Mislatel) to the Mislatel consortium, was a concurrent one.

This means the Senate, Poe said, would only need to concur — which it did.

“It is a Concurrent Resolution — the Senate needs only to concur, it has given its concurrence. It has, in fact, been adopted by the Senate in plenary,” she said.

“The Rules of the Senate provides that Resolutions must only be adopted,” she added. “As compared to bills which follows the traditional three-reading approval procedure.”

Poe said that, while there might be amendments under the resolution which seeks to remove the reference that Mislatel is the country’s third telco, its “main objective is to effect the transfer of sale of the controlling interest.”

The senator further said that the House of Representatives will only need to adopt the version with minor amendments from the Senate. /atm