President Duterte grants DITO a 25-year franchise

President Rodrigo Duterte signed a bill granting DITO Telecommunity a new 25-year franchise into law on Tuesday.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11537, which extends the franchise of the telecommunications service provider, which was due to expire on April 24, 2023.

The legislation will go into effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or a general circulation newspaper.

Condition

According to the Act, DITO is required to send an annual report to Congress on or before April 30 of each year during its franchise period.

“The annual report shall include an update of its rollout, development, operation and/or expansion of business, audited financial statements, latest GIS (General Information Sheet) submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, if applicable, certification of the National Telecommunications Commission on the status of [DITO’s] permits and operations, and an update on the dispersal of ownership if applicable,” the law said.

If DITO fails to send the annual report to Congress, it faces a P1 million fine per working day of noncompliance.

Various departments, including the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Security Council, must also conduct routine security audits of the company’s network.

In addition to the annual report and security audits, DITO is expected to submit a complete report to the President and Congress if any data or information is leaked to a foreign government, its instrumentalities, or agents. The law states that “failure to make such disclosure shall be a basis for the revocation of the franchise.”

China’s state-owned China Telecom owns 40% of DITO, raising concerns about data privacy and national security. Fears of security threats and spying on Filipinos and the national government have been allayed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the DITO.

According to Dennis Uy, the company’s chairman, DITO crossed half a million subscribers more than two months after launching its mobile services.

Source: CNN Philippines

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