In line with the entry of a new major player (NMP), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has committed to intensify the policy reforms to further improve the country’s telecommunications market.
In the senate hearing on the third telco, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. vowed before the Senate’s Committee on Public Service to establish four key policies by early next year that would be critical in establishing a level playing field in the telecommunications market.
Among the priority policy reforms being targeted to be issued in the first quarter of 2019 is the Common Tower Policy. The policy is being drafted alongside the Office of Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and ICT.
In response to Sen. Francis Escudero’s recommendation to open the common tower market to as many players as possible, Rio responded that monopoly and oligopoly will not be tolerated in crafting the common tower policy.
A guideline on implementing the National Roaming scheme is also set to be issued, with the DICT’s attached agency National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) taking charge.
Also in the Department’s crosshair is the issuance of a much-needed Spectrum Management Reform Policy. Rio noted that the DICT, with the help of NTC, is eyeing to release the said policy also by the 1st quarter of 2019, taking into consideration the possibility that the Congress will earlier pass a law on the same subject matter.
In the same timeframe, the Memorandum Circular on Open Access is also expected to be finalized.
The four key policies are seen as major steps in promoting better competition in the telco industry, and will assist the NMP in keeping up with the incumbent dominant players. However, it must be noted that these policy reforms cannot amend nor modify the any provisions of the Memorandum Circular09-09-2018containing the Rules and Regulations on the Selection Process.
In addition, the DICT, together with the NTC and National Security Council (NSC), shall ensure that the NMP will adhere to the integrity of the country’s national security.