Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

A Philippine official says Beijing has tapped China Telecom to be the carrier that will take up Rodrigo Duterte on his offer to allow entry to challenge local operators, a Philippine official said this week.

“The Chinese government selected China Telecom to invest in the Philippines upon invitation by President Duterte during the bilateral meeting last Nov. 16,” Eliseo Rio, secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, told Reuters.

The telecoms giant is already studying a possible investment, Bloomberg confirmed, which would compete with domestic carriers PLDT and Globe Telecom.

Philippines Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the investment will have to include a local partner with an existing franchise and a significant presence in the Philippines.

“The government is fast-tracking this because consumers are getting annoyed with dropped calls and slow internet connections,” Andanar was quoted as saying in a radio interview on Sunday.

Shares of PLDT and Globe Telecom dropped by as much as 5.2% and 4.3% on Monday.

Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp has said it was in talks with China Telecom as well as other Chinese carriers to enter into strategic partnerships.