Screengrabbed from PBA Talks. Philippine Bar Association Facebook page.

Former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. said that a wholly foreign-owned telecom may procure better services for Filipinos, only at the cost of cybersecurity risks and loss of economic profits for the Philippines.

During a recent webinar hosted by the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), Rio stressed that such an arrangement means that the profit these telcos generated using Philippine resources would be sent back to their mother country.

“The Filipino people may get better services than what we have now, but we will still worry about security matters and the content that our children will get,” the ex-DICT official said.
“If there are more than 40% foreign-owned, then proportionally, that profit will go to their owners,” he added.

Titled “Telco Tales,” PBA’s webinar delved further into two issues, namely, the recently passed House Bill No. 78 that conveniently allows 100% foreign ownership of telcos companies in the Philippines with the redefinition of telecommunications as a non-public utility, and the legitimacy of the government’s capability to expropriate telcos.

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