SPACE EXPLORATION Technologies Corp.’s (SpaceX) decision to invest in the Philippines will not be affected by the upcoming change in government, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which noted that the entry of Elon Musk-controlled company is governed by an executive order (EO) liberalizing the industry.

“Satellite services have been opened up by EO 127. Before this EO was issued, there was a franchise requirement for satellite services. But now, (the industry) has also been liberalized. There is no need for a franchise anymore,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a television interview on Thursday.

EO 127 was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on March 10, 2021.

“The change in administration will not affect the (entry) of SpaceX,” Mr. Lopez said. 

The Philippine general election will take place on May 9.

Mr. Lopez said SpaceX has yet to disclose its intended pricing for its satellite internet services, though he expects its price structure to be competitive.

“SpaceX will benefit areas that are not reached by existing telecommunication providers. The company will just install a dish and the service will be available,” Mr. Lopez said.  

The DTI has said that SpaceX is hoping to install the first of three planned gateways before the end of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term on June 30.

SpaceX provides internet service through low earth orbit satellite constellation Starlink. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave