by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Losing bidders PT&T and Sear Telecom have brought their complaints to the Senate against the country’s winning third telco Mislatel Consortium.
Sear Telecom’s chairman and president Chavit Singson argued that Mislatel still has an existing contract with them which bars Mislatel from entering into another deal.
Sear Telecom together with PT&T wants the government to disqualify Chinese-owned Mislatel from being awarded as the country’s third telco.
“From the beginning disqualified ang Mislatel dahil may kontrata sa amin ang Mislatel,” Sison said during Tuesday’s (November 27) inquiry on the matter.
On the other hand, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the process of awarding the contract to the winning bidder will continue unless the court issues its decision on the complaints of the losing bidder.
However still, the agency admitted that the legal battle will surely affect or delay the entry of the third telco.
Nevertheless, DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said they will still “abide by the decision of the court.”
On issues of security, Senator Grace Poe questioned National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon on the possible implication to national security of the reported “hijacking” incident of China Telcom on internet traffic that affects even powerful countries.
The incident is up for investigation by the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA).
“We have read about that report. It is subject to validation on our part. We have the 90 days period to do that. The winning provisional NMP will have to be undergo a background check by the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency,” said Esperon.
The DICT maintained that they see no threat to national security with the entry of the Chinese telecom firm in the country.
“So the threat of Chinese product, Chinese people, really operating our telecommunication are really here,” Rio said,
For its part, Mislatel assured that the rights of the Filipino people will be protected.
“We are a Filipino company. We will not allow national interest and national security to be undermined,” assured Atty. Adel Tamano, Mislatel’s spokesperson.
But Poe insisted that a thorough scrutiny on the background of the third telco should still be conducted.
“Pero iba pa rin siyempre yung mismong korporasyon ang pagmamayari ay taga ibang bansa,” said the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Senator Poe.
Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV requested the presence of Mislatel’s owner Dennis Uy in the next inquiry.
Uy was a no-show in today’s Senate inquiry. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019
Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa has filed a Senate bill that seeks to include substance abuse education in the K-12 program.
Based on his Senate Bill No. 228, substance abuse prevention education should be included from 4th Grade to the 12th Grade. This aims to equip students with sufficient knowledge and information about the dangers of substance abuse.
“The youth, once involved in drug abuse will likely have academic, relationship and health problems. This leads to lower grades, dropping out from schools and having damaged physical, cognitive and emotional development,” he said.
Based on the data of the Dangerous Drugs Board, there are 4.8 million Filipinos aged 10 to 69 who have used illegal drugs at least once in their lives.
The youngest drug surrenderer and youngest recorded minor rescued for substance abuse were seven-year-olds. —AAC
by Maris Federez | Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
Some senators are still not sold on the idea of instilling changes in the 1987 Constitution in the 18th Congress.
This, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s manifestations of pursuing the charter change.
Senator Franklin Drilon said it is still uncertain as to how senators will vote on the proposed constitutional amendment.
Drilon said, “(It is) difficult to predict at this time how the senators will vote. Senate prides itself as independent of Malacañang.”
“Plus, I sense that a number of my colleagues have a “moist eye” on the Presidency in 2022, and may not support an amendment which may lead to a shift to federalism,” he added.
Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who held the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, meanwhile, said the fate of the charter change will depend on composition of the Senate.
“That all depends on the majority. We will see how it goes given the new composition of the Senate,” Pangilinan said.
Senator Ralph Recto, on the other hand, said he still wants to have the cha-cha proposal scrutinized.
“We’ll have to take a look at details of the cha-cha proposal,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, believes that majority of the senators have not wavered in their stance regarding the charter change.
“It’s a little more complicated than what the President and the House want. Why? We are simply back to the same question, which is to clarify the ambiguity of the provision in the Constitution that deals with the manner of voting by Congress constituting itself into a constituent assembly,” Lacson said.
He further said, “Again, in doing so, we are faced with a chicken and egg situation. If it’s via ConCom, do we have enough time to accomplish it before the end of his term?”
Neophyte senator Francis Tolentino, however, believes that the passage of the proposed change in the form of government can still happen during President Duterte’s term.
“Tapos na yung preparatory work ng ConCom. Yung ginawa ni former Justice Puno [The preparatory work in ConCom is finished. What former Justice Puno did], it was commissioned by the executive branch. May napadala na silang report at nasa infancy stage na yung kauna unahang version nito yung sa Bangsamoro. Hindi pa siguro huli ang lahat [They were able to send their report and the very first version of it – the Bangsamor- is already at the infancy stage. Maybe it’s not yet too late,” Tolentino said.
The proposed charter change was able to slightly move in the Lower House during the 17th Congress.
It was, however, stalled in the Senate until the Congress adjourned. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte expects that the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. or Mislatel Consortium will end duopoly in the Philippines telecommunications industry.
“Let me take this opportunity to pose this challenge to Mislatel [Consortium]: Break the prevailing duopoly in the telecommunications industry and fulfill your commitment to provide better telco services to our people,” the President said.
Mislatel received its certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN), or permit to operate as a telco from the President on Monday (July 8) at Malacañang.
This, after Mislatel passed the standards set by the National Telecommunications Commission and the requirements imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Competition Commission.
The firm’s entrance as the country’s third telco player is in line with the government’s project to improve Internet speed in the Philippines from 4.5 mbps to 55 mbps within the next five years to better aid the economy.
“To our people, I encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities arising from a more vibrant telecommunications industry by engaging in productive ICT-based undertakings. Expand your businesses, engage in online jobs, avail of online learning and training opportunities, and participate in productive public discussions,” the President said.
Mislatel has already lodged a performance security bond amounting to P25.7 billion.
After receiving its license, the company also decided to rebrand and will start offering its service under the name Dito Telecommunity Corp. – with details from Rosalie Coz
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