Sen. Grace Poe said Dito Telecommunity, formerly Mislatel, will face penalties once it failed to provide a faster and wider internet coverage in the Philippines in five years.
On Monday, during the plenary debates on the proposed budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for 2020, she has reminded the latter of Dito’s commitment to the government for being allowed to operate as the country’s third telecommunication player.
Poe pointed out that Dito promised to offer an average internet speed of 27 megabits per second (mbps) and cover at least 37% of the nationwide population in its first year, which is due on July 8, 2020.
Moreover, the telecom company also pledged to provide an internet speed of 55 mbps and about 84% coverage in the next two to five years, she said.
Lacson in defense of Dito Telecom
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the sponsor of DICT’s budget, said Dito has not put up one cell site yet.
“‘Yun ang medyo nakakatakot kasi, by July 2020, dapat meron na silang 2,500 cell sites,” Poe said, expressing her concern.
Lacson, on the other hand, assured it could establish its cell sites within two months.
”I understand these are all prefab, so mabilis lang po ito. In two months, they can put them up,” he said.
Then, Poe cited the franchise agreement, stating that “for every non-compliance, there are penalties.”
“If they are not able to fully deliver on their commitment, there are penalties,” the senator added.
In response, Lacson clarified that the commitment of Dito is supported by a performance security: P25.7 billion for the first year; P10.7 billion for the second year; P8 billion for the third year; P5.3 billion for the fourth year; and P2.7 billion for the fifth year.
Other than that, the government has given it a grace period of six months in order to fulfill the requirements.
Poe then said she looks forward to the completion of Dito’s cell cites as this will boost telecom services in the country.