PLDT says DITO open to settle P430-M contractual obligation

BW FILE PHOTO

PLDT, Inc. said on Tuesday that DITO Telecommunity Corp. has expressed openness to amicably settle its unpaid contractual obligation of P430 million to the Pangilinan-led company.

The amount is for “services that PLDT continues to deliver so that DITO can in turn provide telco services to its subscribers,” the former said in an e-mailed statement.

“PLDT welcomes the amicable settlement of accounts by its debtors even if those debtors are PLDT’s competitors,” it noted.

The company also said DITO must “demonstrate its good faith by ceasing its attempts to confuse the issue and to mislead the public by claiming that PLDT’s efforts to collect on DITO’s debt is somehow an anticompetitive activity or interconnection issue that merits some unspecified ‘legal process’ rather than just DITO’s simple payment of its defaulted P430-million debt.”

DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel A. Tamano told state media PTV News on Oct. 15 that the company’s issue with PLDT “is not an issue of money, it’s an issue of interconnection.”

“This matter is already pending with the Philippine Competition Commission,” he added.

For its part, PLDT said that it reserves all of its legal options, including suspension or termination of services, in case DITO does not remedy its “material breach” by Nov. 4.

DITO previously filed competition complaints against the Ayala-led Globe Telecom, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. of the PLDT group.

Globe Telecom, Inc. had requested the National Telecommunications Commission to compel DITO to pay a P622-million fine for allegedly violating their interconnection agreement.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin