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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
THIRD telecommunications player Mislatel consortium is still hopeful it will begin commercial operations by late-2020 despite not receiving its frequencies and certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) as scheduled from the government.
“To address the delay, even before the issuance of the CPCN and frequencies, we are taking steps to prepare for our roll-out,” Mislatel Spokesperson Adel A. Tamano said in a text message on Thursday.
“For example, currently we are moving forward on the planning and evaluation stage for our network infrastructure and backbone. We have agreements with NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) and Transco (National Transmission Corp.) and are currently evaluating their existing network as part of our rollout plan,” he added.
The group formed by Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (Mislatel), China Telecommunications Corp. and businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. is scheduled to launch its services sometime in November 2020, based on its rollout plan submitted to the Senate in January.
The November 2020 schedule was derived from the timeline in Mislatel’s rollout plan, assuming it would receive its frequencies and CPCN this March. The company said it was supposed to start engineering work one month from the receipt of its CPCN.
Eliseo M. Rio, Jr., acting secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), told reporters on Thursday it cannot give Mislatel the go signal until it receives approval from the Congress.
“Okay na lahat [Everything is okay], expect for this transfer of franchise of Mislatel to the consortium. Without that, we could not give the CPCN, the authority to operate, nor can we give the frequencies,” he said.
“Everything that Mislatel was required to do within that time period, they did. Ang problem lang is ’yung [The only problem is the] Congress, they could not dictate the Congress to follow our time period,” Mr. Rio added.
Mislatel is waiting for the Congress to adopt the Senate version of House Concurrent Resolution No. 23, which allows the transfer of controlling interest from the former owners of Mislatel to the Mislatel consortium.
Congress is currently on a session break and will resume on May 20.