ONE telecommunications company is ready to put up with the security and business challenges in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
For although it did not qualify as the Philippines’ third major telecommunications player (TMTP), TierOne Communications is still ready to implement its Php3-billion project to provide connectivity for and in the region.
The ARMM is comprised of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.
Basilan’s Mujiv Hataman, regional governor of the ARMM, commended TierOne for its consistent commitment to go on with its project despite challenges, that include physical and regulatory, especially with the anticipated transition of the autonomous government to a new political entity sought by the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARM).
“This is the best gift to the Bangsamoro under the BOL — that investments from the private sector will continue to grow and expand in the region,” he said. BOL is Bangsamoro Organic Law.
TierOne was one of the bidders for the TMTP, which the Mislatel Consortium won. The winning group joins Udenna Corp. and its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.; Chinese government-owned China Telecommunications Corp.; and Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.
SDN — Scitech and Digital News learned about this positive development through an email message from the Regional Board of Investments (ARMM-RBOI) headed by lawyer Ishak Mastura.
TierOne registered its project last year with the RBOI even before the bidding for the TMTP went through this year.
Mastura’s office said TierOne is still ready to implement its ARMM project.
“TierOne has asked the Investment Assistance Center (IAC) of the Board of Investments (BOI) in Manila to help expedite the allocation of spectrum for the ARMM with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and its attached agency, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
The RBOI cited TierOne’s letter to the IAC on November 22 this year, which it coursed through the ARMM.ARMM-RBOI Chairman Atty. Ishak Mastura. (Image: from NDBC News)
“TierOne CEO Jonathon Bentley Stevens asked for a meeting with the DICT and NTC at the BOI offices to resolve the issue of spectrum allocation for ARMM. This is considering that they have have been ready even before a Third Telco was proposed for the country, to proceed with their ARMM telecoms project, if only ARMM had been given a spectrum allocation for the project,” the ARMM-RBOI said.
The telecommunications network also cited that there is more need to implement its project in the ARMM and go ahead in servicing ARMM customers, “who are perennially at the end of the roll out line of telecom firms.”
Meanwhile, RBOI Chairman Mastura assured that the project in the region would not be affected by the “expected approval in the plebiscite (in January and February) of the BOL next year.
He pointed out that the “Bangsamoro autonomous regional government still has the authority to issue telecom franchises for the region. However, the administration of spectrum will remain with the NTC as it is now currently practiced in the ARMM.”
Mastura noted that “vested rights” such as franchises, concessions, leases and other property rights are guaranteed under the BOL. (RBOI/EKU)