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DICT lauds oversight committee for third telco entry

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to establish an oversight committee for the entry of the new major telco player.

The President issued the Administrative Order (AO) 11 or the “Creation of an Oversight Committee for the Entry of a New Major Player in the Public Telecommunications Market” on April 6, but was only released to the press on April 11.

“We welcome it very much. It will make the selection process for the New Major Telco Player transparent and objective, taking into consideration the concerns of stakeholders, including other government departments,” DICT acting chief Eliseo Rio, Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

The committee would ensure that the entry of a new player can provide “reliable, inexpensive and secure” services for Filipino consumers.

The DICT will lead the committee as the chairperson, providing secretariat support; a representative from the Department of Finance will act as vice-chairperson; while representatives from the Office of the Executive Secretary and National Security Adviser complete the panel.

Assigned powers and functions were to assist the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to formulate the Terms of Reference (TOR) and assignment of frequencies, as well as to make sure that NTC and other implementing agencies comply with the TOR.

The committee will also ensure timely implementation pursuant to the timeline established by both DICT and NTC.

It can also ask for assistance from other government agencies as the circumstances and exigencies may require.

It will also be given incidental powers necessary for the proper exercise of powers and functions.

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