House approves DITO’s 25-year franchise
The House of Representatives has recently approved the operations of the third major telco in the country, DITO Telecommunity Corp, under a 25-year legislative franchise renewal.
DITO has garnered 240 affirmative votes against seven negative votes on the third and final reading of House Bill 7332 which grants the company’s application to a 25-year legislative franchise “to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain wired and/or wireless telecommunications systems”. Authored by Valenzuela Rep. Wesley Gatchalian, the House Bill 7332 is a renewal of the legislative franchise of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (MISLATEL), the previous name of DITO.
Under the bill, DITO is prohibited to lease, transfer, sell or assign the franchise, rights, or privileges or its controlling interest without the approval of Congress. It should also “conform to the ethics of honest enterprise, operate its stations in a satisfactory manner at all times, and to extend its services in compliance with the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act”. The 25 year-extension will start after the expiration of its previous franchise in 2023.
DITO Telecommunity Corp is a telecom consortium of Udenna Corp owned by Davao City businessman Dennis Uy. Its subsidiaries are Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and China Telecom.
DITO has been awarded by President Rodrigo Duterte the permit to operate as the Philippines’ third telco provider on July 8, 2019.