By Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA — Representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) allowing the new telco player to build its communications facilities in military camps and installations.
Maj. Gen. Adrian Sanchez Jr., AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics, and Information Systems (CEIS), J6; and lawyer Adel Tamano, Mislatel chief administrative officer, signed the MOA at the AFP Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Based on the agreement, the AFP will determine specific locations with its rental value for use of Mislatel in the installation and management of its communications sites without undermining the operations of affected AFP units.
Mislatel is also required to “furnish all equipment, labor, and materials necessary to effect the co-location of its facilities and shoulders all expenses in connection with or incidental to the co-location” and payment of all taxes, permits, licenses, and other charges.
Payment will be made by providing CEIS equipment, upgrade, services, and training to the AFP equivalent to the monetary value of the lease subject to inflation.
“Our MOA with other telcos significantly improved the ICT infrastructure of the AFP and we are optimistic that this opportunity will also bring great benefits to the armed forces,” AFP Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. said.
Mislatel also “guarantees that the devices, equipment, and/or structures installed at the site provided by the AFP shall not be used to obtain classified information” as a measure to prevent electronic espionage.
The Mislatel consortium, which will adopt the name Dito Telecommunity, is composed of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Udenna Corp, and China Telecom.
It was conferred with the status of the new major player in the telecommunications industry by the National Telecommunications Commission on November 19, 2018.
“We at Dito Telecommunity are truly grateful to the AFP for this partnership. The rollout of Dito’s towers is indeed one herculean feat. With this partnership with the AFP, we are nearer our goal of building a wide and robust network,” Dito president and chief executive officer Dennis Uy said.
The signing was witnessed by retired Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Santiago Jr., chief technology officer of Mislatel and Col. Walter Icaro, chief of the Plans, Policy, Program and Budget Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for CEIS, J6.
The MOA was subsequently endorsed by Madrigal for the approval of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
“This partnership gives Mislatel a fair chance to compete with the other networks, given that the AFP also has a similar partnership with Globe and Smart,” Madrigal said. (PNA)