Prangkisa ng Dito Telecommunity, ipinasa na ng Senado sa pangalawang pagbasa

Ni Ivy Atompag
Photo: PNA
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Inaprubahan ng senado sa pangalawang pagbasa ang panukalang batas na nagbibigay ng karagdagang 25 na taon sa prangkisa ng Dito Telecommunity matapos ang mahabang diskusyon ng ilang senador tungkol sa seguridad ng bansa sa plenary session noong Miyerkules.

Ang House Bill No. 7332 ay naunang aprubahan ng House of Representatives bago ito ipasa sa Senado para sa konsiderasyon.

Ang Dito ay napili bilang pangatlong telco ng Pilipinas at may prangkisa sa ilalim ng Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. na ipinagkaloob noong 1998 at nakatakdang matapos sa 2023. 

Ito ay pagmamay-ari ng Udenna Corporation at China Telecom. Dahil dito, may ilang senador na nagpahayag ng kanilang pag-aalala para sa seguridad ng bansa. 

“More competition is welcome but let’s keep our eyes open and our guard up. How can Dito assure us that it’s not the Chinese government that’s calling the shots?” saad ni Senator Risa Hontiveros. 

Ganito din ang tanong ni Senator Richard Gordon.

“Honestly, sincerely, are we so sure that this franchise will be controlled by Filipinos and not by the Chinese? You are giving them a base for the possibility for espionage or surveillance,” sabi niya.

Siniguro naman ni Senator Grace Poe, ang sponsor ng franchise bill ng Dito bilang chairperson ng Senate public services panel, na istrikto ang mga batas sa bansa para protektahan ang seguridad nito. 

“We are secure, apparently—and I say this because we are taking their word for it—from whatever possible Chinese incriminations in our information system,” saad niya.

Ayon sa kaniya, walang perpektong batas ngunit gagawin daw ng pamahalaan ang lahat upang hindi mapakompromiso ang soberanya at seguridad ng bansa. 

“Gusto kong maliwanagan ang lahat kung paano ba natin mapoprotektahan ang sarili nating soberanya at interes. Walang perpektong batas pero hangga’t sa abot ng ating makakaya dapat gawin natin ang nararapat para hindi tayo maisahan,” paliwanag ni Poe sa isang news release kahapon.

Dagdag pa niya, maaaring ipag-utos ng ehekutibo sa National Telecommunications Commission ang pagsasara ng isang telco kapag natuklasang nakompromiso ang seguridad at kaligtasan ng bansa dahil dito. 

“If tomorrow they breach their franchise agreement and compromise our national security and safety, we have the power and the equal footing or authority to shut them down,” saad niya.

Ayon din umano sa patakaran ng Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), maaari din silang hindi bigyan ng access sa kompidensyal na impormasyon kung ito ay magreresulta sa conflict of interest.

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