Duterte signed Republic Act 11089 on Oct. 18, giving a 25-year franchise to the telecom system owned by Villar’s family.
Under the law, Streamtech will “maintain for commercial and in the public interest an international gateway facility to serve and connect the Philippines to other countries and territories”.
The company is directed to secure a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity as well as appropriate permits and licenses for the construction, installation and operations of telecom systems from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“The grantee shall not use any frequency in the radio spectrum without authorization from the NTC,” the law said.
“The NTC, however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of such authority, permit, or license,” it added.
The measure also provides that Streamtech “shall improve and extend its services in areas not served, and in hazard - and typhoon-prone areas” of the country.
“The grantee shall conform to the ethics of honest enterprise and not use its stations or facilities for obscene or indecent transmission or for dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation, or assist in subversive or treasonable acts,” it said.
The franchise, according to the law, shall be deemed ‘ipso facto’ revoked if Streamtech fails to commence operations within three years from effectivity of the law, and to operate continuously for two years.
The grantee shall also be fined with PHP1 million “per working day of noncompliance” if it fails to submit mandatory annual reports to Congress.
Manuel Paolo Villar, son of businessman Manny and Senator Cynthia Vilar, is reportedly managing Streamtech.
Meanwhile, Duterte also signed on Oct. 18 the Republic Act 11099 renewing for another 25 years the franchise granted to Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation to “construct, install, operate, and maintain radio broadcasting stations”.