President Duterte wants a third telco to increase competition in the country’s telecoms sector

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte will directly intervene if his government have not formed a third telco by Christmas, according to reports in the press.

President Duterte had originally said that he wanted a third telco formed to inject new life into the country’s telecoms sector, no later than the end of the first quarter of 2018. With that deadline long since passed, Duterte is reportedly losing patience with those charged with closing the deal.

President Duterte had originally extended a personal invitation to China Telecom to work with Filipino players to launch a third telco in the country. However, China Telecom remained decidedly tight lipped on the offer and new potential players have subsequently submitted their interest.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is currently reviewing bids from other operators who are willing to form a new company in the Philippines. The bidding process is expected to close by November.

"If the bidding fails and we cannot remedy it before Christmas, then we are dead and he [President Duterte] takes over. We will cross that bridge when we get there," DICT Secretary, Eliseo Rio, told reporters in Manilla.