- Malacañanang Palace said gov’t is open to other foreign telecom companies entering PH market
- Presidential spokesperson explained this will happen if China Telecom backs out
- He however said there is no indication Chinese telco has refused gov’t’s offer
MANILA, Philippines – If the deal with China Telecom to enter the country’s telecommunications industry does not materialize, then the government will simply look for other foreign players.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this revelation as he said China Telecom has not yet declared its willingness to accept the limitations on foreign ownership of a company in the Philippines.
“If for any reason this is not acceptable to China Telecom, then we have no choice. We gave China the option but if this is not acceptable to it, unfortunately we will have to look for other players because we will have to honor what the Constitution provides,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “But unless it’s actually up and going, I guess there is always a possibility that others may be involved if for any reason China Telecoms or China decides not to push through with their commitment, to start a third telecoms company.”
Under the Constitution, a company running a public utilities business in the country must have at least 60 percent of its capital owned by Filipinos.
While China Telecom has not aired a statement on this matter, Roque said the company has also not yet rejected President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to enter the country.
“Let me be clear on this. The offer to China was made in a bilateral talk between the President [Rodrigo Duterte] and the Chinese Premier (Li Keqiang). It appears to have been accepted because the Chinese government nominated China Telecom,” he said. “There are no indications that China Telecom does not want to push through with the project.”