Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revilla tasked PLDT's acquisition of Digitel

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 1, 2011-Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., chair of the senate committee on public service tasked the national telecommunications commission (NTC) to submit a report in the next two weeks on PLDT’s acquisition of third-ranked telecommunication digitel and prepare a study on the possible effects of PLDT's acquisition of Digitel on the local Telecommunications Market.

Revilla said that the NTC, which is the country's Telecoms regulator, is in the best position to assess the impact of this transaction on consumers and the public in general.

“While, a change of ownership of corporations is usually ordinary business, this is not the case here as Telecommunications is imbued with public interest, and we must ensure that public interest is upheld in this transaction,” he said.

Revilla added that another consideration must be given to the fact that if the acquisition pushes through, PLDT will undoubtedly be owning a great chunk of the Mobile Phone industry, being the owner of Piltel, Smart, Cure, and eventually Digitel, saying that in 1992 the PLDT held a monopoly on the country’s telecommunication where President Fidel Valdez Ramos deregulated the company.

To give the agency broader powers in overseeing the Telecoms Industry, the Senator said that the committee is now conducting Technical Working Group meetings on the reorganization of the NTC, saying that there are already proposals to empower the NTC to monitor pricing and competition, and another proposal to consider is to give NTC the mandate to overseer the acquisition of Telecom companies by other Telecom companies. (Jason de Asis)

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