NTC organizes public hearing on circular design on 3rd telecom »Manila Bulletin Business


By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The National Telecommunications Commission (Philippines) logo (thanks to wikipedia.org)

The National Telecommunications Commission (Philippines) logo (thanks to wikipedia.org)

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last week held the first public hearing on the draft memorandum circular (MC) on the rules and regulations for the selection of a new major player in the public telecommunications sector, paving the way for the accession of a third player and hopefully a more competitive Internet service in the country.

NTC commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba recognized the participation of various offices, government agencies and telecommunications experts in the drafting of the draft MC.

He received the invaluable contributions from the Department for Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Office of the Executive Secretary, Finance Department, Office of the National Security Advisor, National Economic Development Company (NEDA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), Public-Private Partnership Center (PPP) and the Insurance Commission. Cordoba added that experts from the International Telecommunications Union also participated in the drafting of the document.

Cordoba mentioned during his presentation that the public hearing held on Thursday was one of the required steps in the NTC regulatory process. It is the second of the seven legal steps before the bidding process is completed. The entire legal process includes the submission of position papers, finalization, publication and effectiveness of the final MC; and ultimately the auction process.

Cordoba stated that the possibility of holding another hearing will depend on the inputs, remarks and recommendations expressed at the hearing and as contained in the position papers that the NTC will receive.

Stakeholders in the industry and representatives of interested telecommunication companies commented freely on the concept of MC during the question and answer of the hearing. Those of potential bidding participants who made comments and questions were mainly the legal representatives of the companies.

As part of the public hearing, PCC commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe explained the recommendations of the PCC for the draft MC.

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