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What to do with the third telco?

"It seems on the surface that some prominent folks are looking to make a killing on this opportunity."

 

Only one bidder passed the initial review of the National Telecommunications Commission’s preliminary selection process yesterday – Mislatel Consortium, comprising of China Telecom and Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., and Chelsea Logistics Holding Corp.

They were among the three bidders that went through with the NTC’s third telco selection process. The other two were Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) and SEAR Telecom consortium made up of Tier One Communications (based in Mindanao), Luis “Chavit” Singson (LCS) Group of Companies, Southeast Asia Telecom of Cambodia, Miller Pte Ltd. of Singapore, and Fujian Torch Electron Tech of China.

PT&T and SEAR were disqualified yesterday by NTC for their alleged incomplete submission of required documents. The two entities said they will file an appeal with the NTC.

The NTC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology previously announced that “ten parties bought selection documents from the NTC,” according to a press handout.

“These are China Telecommunications Corporation, PT&T, NOW Telecom, Inc., Telenor ASA Group, Udenna Corporation, LCS Group of Companies & Tier 1, Mobiltel Holding GmbH, Converge ICT, AMA Telecommunications Corp., and an undisclosed bidder.”

Three observers were invited to witness the opening of bids on Nov. 7: the Commission of Audit, the Foundation for Media Alternatives, and the Philippine Technological Council, as well as two representatives each from the DICT, Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Finances, National Security Council, Department of Justice, Philippine Competition Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission to join the Technical Working Group yesterday, when the bids were opened.

The event was touted as the fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise of bringing in a third telco to provide an alternative to Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart, which between the two of them service the majority of telco customers in the country.

Customers often complain of slow service, expensive charges, and hidden fees from the two major existing telco providers. Bringing in the third party will supposedly break Globe and Smart’s hold and provide them with competition.

However, it must be ascertained that there are no undue advantages being given to foreign companies and that there is no conflict of interest among the parties involved in the effort. It seems on the surface that some prominent folks are looking to make a killing on this opportunity. Let’s hope that this is a genuine attempt to give long-suffering telco customers a better and cheaper alternative to what’s available now.

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The handsome coffee-table book “Lineage, Vision, and Empire: Don Francisco ‘Paquito’ Ortigas Jr.”—a biography written by respected and multi-awarded Philippine literary figure Alfred ‘Krip’ Yuson —will be launched on Nov. 10 at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.

According to the book’s executive publisher Fernando M. Ortigas, “Rare are sons who surpass the greatness of their fathers. Such a one was Don Francisco ‘Paquito’ Ortigas Jr. Krip Yuson’s narrative of Don Paco’s accomplishments has raised the bar. As one of [Paco’s] sons, I can only find one solution in trying to surpass the greatness of my father – I can make sure the Filipino people read about his life.”

‘Paquito’ Ortigas Jr. was best known for his real estate acumen, in the 1930s raising from the hinterlands of what are now known as Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, and Quezon City a progressive urban complex comprising various development projects including subdivisions (Valle Verde, Wack-Wack, Greenhills, Greenmeadows), shopping complexes, hospitals, schools, churches, and more.

But as “distinguished as he was as a man of the law and business—much like his father—Don Paquito was also quite a man of letters,” Yuson writes. He engaged in extensive correspondence with numerous personages around the world.

He also kept a diary where he recorded ideas, thoughts, and interesting aphorisms, some of them related to time management: “Anticipate your schedule for the day and try as much as possible to follow it. Thus you can get things done more methodically and efficiently.” Sage advice now as then.

“Lineage, Vision, Empire” is also important as a glimpse of Philippine history during that era, being replete with anecdotes, photos, and other valuable images and stories. It is a welcome addition to the ranks of taipan biographies that illustrate the lives and life lessons of the successful businessmen whose accomplishments have shaped our country.

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Dr. Ortuoste, a writer and researcher, has a PhD in Communication. FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO

Topics: Jenny Ortuoste , National Telecommunications Commission , Mislatel Consortium , China Telecom , Dennis Uy , Udenna Corp. , Chelsea Logistics Holding Corp.
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