Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the bill granting DITO Telecommunity Corp., the country's third major telecommunication service provider, a new 25-year franchise.
The President signed on Tuesday Republic Act No. 11537, renewing for 25 years the franchise granted to DITO, previously known as Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company.
With the renewed franchise, Dito Telecommunity can operate its telecom network until 2046. Its current congressional franchise expires in April 2023.
The franchise places DITO on firmer ground to compete with the two dominant networks, Globe Telecom and PLDT.
Dito Telecommunity, partly owned by Davao businessman and Duterte campaign donor Dennis Uy, was made the country’s third telco player during the Duterte administration.
The law allows DITO to “construct, install, establish, operate and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio and/or television broadcasting stations” in the Philippines for another 25 years.
DITO, the law said, shall not use any frequency in the radio spectrum without authorization from the NTC. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of such authority, permit, or license.
Meanwhile, DITO Telecommunity has reported achieving the milestone of 500,000 subscribers on its network, roughly two months after it launched services in the country.
DITO Chairman and CEO Dennis Uy said: ‘Our current subscribers are half a million Filipinos’.