Companies led by businessmen Chavit Singson and Dennis Uy are among the five groups that purchased bid documents Monday for the selection of a new major player in the Philippine telecommunication sector that are set to challenge the duopoly of Globe Telecom Inc. and PLDT Inc.
“So far, we have five companies that bought bid documents,” National Telecommunications Commission commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba told reporters.
The NTC identified the interested parties as the joint venture of Singson’s LSC Group of Companies and Davao telco operator TierOne Communications, Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Norway’s Telenor Group.
The agency did not name the two other bidders upon their request.
Other groups that are expected to purchase bid documents in the coming days are China Telecom, LG Uplus Corp., Korea Telecom, Vietnam Telecom, Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Converge ICT, Transpacific Broadband Group Inc. and EasyCall Communications Philippines Inc.
“We are very confident that we will fulfill the president’s directive on the entry of a new major player in the Philippines telecommunications market,” Cordoba said.
Singson, who owns LCS Group, said the purchase of the bid documents represented the first step in finally bringing much needed world-class telecommunications services across the archipelago.
“The TierOne Consortium assures the Filipino people, especially 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.
Davao-based Jonathan Bentley-Stevens, a philanthropist and businessman, who owns telco-related companies in Australia, US, Malaysia and the Philippines said, “we are here, particularly for the underserved and unserved Filipinos.”
Cordoba also urged all participants to carefully follow all requirements for their submission as the agency would be very strict in enforcing the provisions of the memorandum circular in the selection of the new major player.
He said the selection process will be conducted in an open, fair and transparent manner.
The submission and opening of bids is on Nov. 7.
Under the final terms of reference issued by NTC and the Department of Information Communications and Technology, the potential bidders will be chosen based on the highest committed level of service for over a period of five years.
The three criteria are national population coverage with a weight of 40 percent, minimum average broadband speed of 25 percent and capital and operating expenditure with 35 percent.
The rules stated that the minimum population coverage for the first year should be 10 percent, a figure that should reach 50 percent by the fifth year.
The new player is expected to invest a minimum of P40 billion in the first year and P140 billion in five years.
The selection committee will use a point system based on the documents submitted by the potential players.
The bidders should post a participation fee of P700 million, or equivalent to 0.5 percent of the minimum capital and operational expenditure at the end of the commitment period.
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