CICT  BODY  WANTS  FURTHER  TELECOM  DEREGULATION

MANILA, September 17
, 2004  (MANILA TIMES) THE Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) is keen on deregulating more the telecoms sector, opening it up to more competition and less regulation.

“The government is for liberalization and market driven sectors... We would continue to open up the telecom sector to competition and come up with less regulation,” Virgilio Pena, CICT chair said.

This, he said, is possible with the creation of the CICT, which will have a close interaction with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

“In the old regime, the Department of Transportation and Communications attention is split to different sectors. Now the primary preoccupation of ICT is communication,” Peña said.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), called on for the government to go back to regulation as an economic policy.

“I think they should debunk this deregulation policy as a general policy of the government. It doesn’t make sense,” Pangilinan said.

“Deregulation...the mantra of the ’90s. Does it work? Absolutely not.”

“Obviously, Pangilinan has his reason for making such a statement and I don’t know the background for saying that,” Peña said in reaction to Pangilinan’s statement.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Ronald Olivar Solis of the NTC said the stand of the government is still for deregulation, but the NTC would be willing to hear the side of industry players.

“The issue of having more or less regulation is being talked about not only in the Philippines but also in Hong Kong even as the thrust is toward deregulation, we are willing to listen to the industry players,” Solis said. -- Sheryll C. Alhambra


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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