DU30 grants franchise to Villar-owned telco

October 23, 2018
Manuel Villar Jr.
Manuel Villar Jr.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law granting the Villar-owned Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc. a franchise to operate and maintain a telecommunication system in the country for 25 years.

The law granting franchise to Streamtech, signed by President Duterte last October 18, was released to reporters on Tuesday or October 23.

Streamtech is led by Manuel Paolo Villar, son of former Senate President and real estate tycoon Manuel Villar Jr. and Senator Cynthia Villar. Paolo’s brother, Mark, is the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Senator Cynthia’s 2019 Senate bid, on the other hand, has been endorsed by President Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Senator Cynthia also belong to the administration coalition in the Senate.

Under Republic Act 11089 which grants franchise to Streamtech, the Villar-owned company will provide both wire/wireless telecom system, national broadband system, mobile and cellular fiber optics, multichannel multipoint distribution systems, switches and their value added services such as transmission of voice, data, facsimile, control signs, audio and video, information services, among others.

The granting of the franchise to operate for 25 years to Streamtech, however, will be revoked if it will fail to comply with the following conditions: commence operations within one year from the approval of its operating permit by the National Telecommunications Commission, commence operations within three years from the effectivity of the law granting the franchise and operate continuously for two years.

The law also mandates Streamtech to operate and maintain all its stations, lines, cables systems and equipment for the transmission and reception messages, signals and pulses in a satisfactory manner at all times and well as modify, improve or change such stations, lines, cables, systems and equipment to keep abreast with the advances in science and technology as far as economical and practicable.

The franchise also requires Streamtech to improve and extend its services in areas not served and in hazard and typhoon prone areas that will be determined by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in coordination with the National Telecommunications Commission, on top of improving and upgrading its equipment, facilities and services in order to ensure effective compliance with the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

The law granting Streamtech its franchise provides that any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption or immunity granted under existing franchises or which may hereafter be granted upon review and approval of Congress shall become part of his franchise and will be accorded immediately and unconditionally, provided that the foregoing will neither apply to nor affect the provision of telecommunications franchises concerning the territory covered by the franchise, the life span o the franchise or the type of service authorized by the franchise.