DICT: No National Security Issue Seen In 100% Foreign Ownership Of Telecommunications Companies

The DICT said that there’s no national security issue seen in 100% foreign ownership of telecommunications companies.

DICT — The Department of Information and Communications Technology said that they didn’t see any national security issue with the passing of the law granting 100% foreign ownership of public services such as telecommunications.

telecom tower
Photo source: Philippine Star

On Wednesday, DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Caintic explained in a Super Radyo dzBB interview that despite telecommunications being reclassified as “public services” under the recently signed law amending the “Public Service Act”, they are still subject to existing laws and will undergo cybersecurity checks via DICT’s Cybersecurity Bureau and third-party audits.

According to Caintic, it doesn’t mean that foreigners would no longer follow their rules and regulations despite them having 100% ownership.

Telecommunications and other public services such as airlines, railways, and logistical facilities were previously classified as “public utilities”. Under the 1987 Constitution, foreigners may only own up to 40 percent of public utilities.

Ang kagandahan po dito sa mga amendments na ito, ang telco kasi medyo high capital investment na industry kung kaya kailangan ng magandang foreign direct investments para dito parang sa gano’n ay gumanda ang ating serbisyo, mas gaganda ang internet service sa ating bansa, at lumaganap pa ‘yung pag-latag ng mga fibers, ng mga towers at sa gano’n ay gumanda ang signal ng ating mobile services,” Caintic said.

DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel Caintic
DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Caintic | Photo: DICT

Caintic also pointed out that with a better internet connection, students can have access to the same educational materials and employees could opt to continue working from home.

When asked how the DICT could ensure the security and safety of the Filipino people with this new law, Caintic said that he sees the passing of the “SIM Card Registration” bill as one of the solutions.

READ ALSO: Telcos Willing To Work With Government On SIM Card Registration Rules

Last February, the House of Representatives and the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the measure requiring the registration of mobile phone subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.

The said measure mandates all public telcos to require the registration of SIM cards as a prerequisite to their sale and activation.

Also, the said measure provides that all social media networks should require the real name and phone number of users upon the creation of their social media accounts.

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