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Poe hits 'duopoly' in proposed common tower policy

MANILA – Senator Grace Poe has vowed to block the common tower policy proposed by Presidential adviser Ramon Jacinto because of its provision limiting the number of tower-builders to only two companies.

Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services, said capping the number of companies to just two would slow down the construction of new telecommunications towers just as the third telco is about to roll out its services. 

"Tapos ngayon, si Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs RJ Jacinto, ang sinasabi niya na ‘yung kanilang proposal ay papayagan lamang nila ay dalawang kumpanya ang gagawa ng cell towers, ‘yun ang pagkakaintindi natin. Aba, kung gano’n ang mangyayari ay lalong babagal na naman ang pagtatayo ng mga ‘yan," Poe said in a radio interview. 

(Now, Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs RJ Racinto, he says they are proposing to have just two cell tower companies, that's how I understood it. What will happen is it will further slow down the roll out.)

Poe said that if Jacinto insists on having just two tower companies, she will file a case against the policy. 

"Magfa-file tayo ng kaso kasi kailangan talagang pigilan ang mga ganitong uri ng mga polisiya na sa tingin ko ay makakasama sa ating mga kababayan," Poe said. 

(We will file a case because we need to stop these kinds of policies which I think will harm the public.)

Information and Communications Technology acting Secretary Eliseo Rio has also criticized provisions of the proposed common tower policy, saying these will further delay the entry of the third major telco. 

Jacinto, in an interview with ANC on Wednesday, however parried the criticisms against his proposal. 

He said limiting the number of tower players will ensure that these companies remain viable. 

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