Philippine News Agency reports that President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has ordered the setting up of an oversight committee to assist the telecoms industry regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), in his plan to set up a new third telecoms operator in the country. On 6 April the president signed Administrative Order No. 11, which confirms: ‘It is the objective of this Administration to ensure reliable, inexpensive and secure telecommunications services in the country’. Under A.O. No. 11, Duterte has reportedly ordered the panel to assist the NTC in the formulation of the Term of Reference (TOR) for the selection and assignment of radio frequencies for the entry of a new telco player. In addition, the new committee will oversee compliance of the regulator and other implementing agencies with the TOR provisions. According to the president’s A.O., the entry of a new major telco player is considered a matter of national interest ‘which shall redound to the benefit of the public by ensuring genuine competition’. The Philippines is keen to realise the entry of competition in an integrated and transparent manner, it said. The
selection of the third telco player is now expected to be made before the President delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA) in July.