TL;DR: Senate approves Dito Telecommunity 25-year franchise.
The Philippine Senate has approved DITO Telecommunity’s bid for renewing its franchise for another 25 years. The next step is getting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature for the final approval.
As reported by Rappler, this is the third and final reading of the House Bill No. 7332, which is the bill to renew the telco’s franchise. The result was 17-2-1, with two senators, Risa Hotiveros and Kiko Pangilinan, voting no citing fears of spying from China. For those not familiar, the Dennis Uy-led telco is 40-percent owned by Beijing’s China Telecom.
Despite the senate’s approval, the bill still cannot sent to President Duterte for his signature. According to reports, the senators have introduced several amendments.
These include Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s amendment that requires the telco to submit a report to the President and to Congress on disclosure of any data or information, assistance, support, or cooperation given to a foreign government and its instrumentalities.
Another is Senator Hontiveros’ amendment that requires the telco’s assigned frequencies be subjected for review at regular intervals.
DITO Telecommunity launched its services in Visayas and Mindanao early this March as the country’s third major telco player. It entered the market by announcing that it will be providing free call and text as well as broadband services to 3000 front liners in ten areas in Visayas and Mindanao.