Philippines: Duterte To End Telecoms Duopoly


Philippines Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. announced on Monday, November 20, that the dominance of two major players in the local telecommunications industry is about to end during a Malacanang press briefing.

“During the bilateral talks between President Duterte and the Chinese Premier, President Duterte offered to the People’s Republic of China the privilege to operate the third telecom’s carrier in the country,” the spokesperson said.

Roque added that PRRD is serious about the entry of the third telecommunications carrier as he gave instructions that all applications be filed and acted upon directly by the Office of the Executive Secretary.

This came after the Philippine government officially sealed a deal with a Facebook affiliate to build the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure project.

“Consumers can look forward now to better telecommunications, not just in terms of cellular technology, but also in terms of internet speed as well as access,” the Presidential Spokesperson underscored.

Bohol’s new airport conducts first test flight; CDO coastal road launched

In the same press briefing, Spokesperson Roque reported that the government successfully conducted the first test flight of the New Bohol Airport last November 6.

“It’s on track to be finished by June 2018. The P7.8-billion airport can accommodate seven aircrafts, both domestic and international,” Roque said.

The airport project is designed to be the Philippines’ first eco-airport and “Green Gateway to the World.”

Meanwhile, Roque also announced that the Cagayan de Oro Coastal Road is now open after 20 years.

“The Cagayan de Oro Coastal Road is expected to lessen the travel time by 20 minutes from Laguindingan [Airport] to Cagayan de Oro City,” he said.

PH ASEAN hosting produces results

Spokesperson Roque likewise mentioned the country had garnered multi-million dollar assistance and entered into important agreements with various countries as a result of its hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

The United States gave US$14.3 million for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City and US$2 million to support the country’s ongoing war on illegal drugs.

“We were likewise able to push mutual interests such as Generalized System of Preferences with the United States and to start exploring talks on a Philippines-US Free Trade Agreement,” Roque disclosed.

The Philippines signed 14 cooperation agreements with China, inked eight (8) bilateral agreements with Russia and committed three (3) agreements with New Zealand.

The Japanese government, on the other hand, will provide P46 billion for the construction of the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway and P4 billion for a bypass road along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Plaridel, Bulacan.

Japan further committed an additional billion pesos for the procurement of equipment for counterterrorism and reconstruction of Marawi.

Canada provided $17.8-million for the sexual health and empowerment projects for women in the Philippines.

Australia pushed for cooperation against sea piracy threat in Sulu. Also, the country was able to improve market access for Philippine bananas in Australia, Japan, and Korea.

As for India, “We had talks on producing cheaper medicines with India and talks with pharmaceutical companies to set-up in the Philippines,” the Spokesperson said.

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