Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday downplayed concerns that the partner of Duterte crony Dennis Uy in his third telco venture could pose security concerns for Filipino subscribers and the government.
Appearing at the regular Kapihan sa Senado media forum, Zubiri said he saw no national security issues with China Telecom in play in the country?s telecommunications sector, citing the presence of other state-owned Chinese companies in other major sectors.
?National security concern, probably not because the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is 40 percent owned by a state-owned Chinese company. They are doing their part in helping develop our energy sector,? he said.
The NGCP is majority-controlled by Henry Sy Jr. ,along with Robert Coyiuto Jr. of Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner. It holds a 25-year concession to operate and manage the country’s power transmission facilities.
The Mislatel consortium — composed of Dennis Uy’s Davao-based Udenna Corporation and its logistics arm, Chelsea Logistics Holdings, together with state-owned China Telecommunications, and the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Corporation, Inc. (Mislatel) — was selected Wednesday as the country’s provisional third major telco that would go against PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Zubiri said it would be unfair to imply that China Telecom?s presence in Mislatel would be a national security concern.
?I believe China Telecom is a publicly listed firm in mainland China. The books are open, they are transparent,? Zubiri said.
He said the public should be more concerned if Mislatel would live up to its promises of better services, lower rates and faster Internet connectivity.
Based on its bid, Mislatel committed to provide 37.03 percent of the total Philippine population with an average Internet speed of 27 Mbps through a P 150-billion investment for the first year of its operation.
Through the second and fifth year of its commitment period, the consortium should have covered 84.01 percent of the total Philippine population, spending a total of P258 billion and offering Internet services with an average speed of 55 Mbps. (PNA)