Full Title
Date of Approval
May 18, 2021

Other Details

Issuance Category
Legislative Issuance Type
Bill Note
Related to Note
R.A. No. 8627
R.A. No. 10639
E.O. No. 72, sec. 2, S.1986
R.A. No. 8424, Title II

Official Gazette

Official Gazette Source
Official Gazette volume 117 number 22 (May 31, 2021) page 5820

Full Text of Issuance

[ REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11537, May 18, 2021 ]



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:


SECTION 1. Nature and Scope of Franchise. - Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and applicable laws, rules and regulations, there is hereby granted to Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc., now known as Dito Telecommunity Corporation, granted under Republic Act No. 8627 and hereunder referred to as the grantee, its successors or assignees, the right, privilege and authority to carry on the business of providing telecommunications services in and between provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines and between the Philippines and other countries and territories and, for this purpose, to establish, operate, manage, lease, maintain and purchase telecommunications systems, and other telecommunications systems, fiber optics, satellite transmission and reception systems, and other telecommunications systems and their value-added services such as transmission of voice,  data, facsimile, control signs, audio and video, and all other telecommunications systems technologies as are at present available or will be made available through technical advances or innovations in the future, or construct, acquire, lease, and operate or manage transmitting and receiving stations and switching stations, both for local and international services, lines, cables or systems, as is, or are, convenient or essential to efficiently carry out the purpose of this franchise, is hereby renewed for another twenty-five (25) years from the effectivity of this Act.


In this Act, the term "telecommunications" shall include electronic telecommunications, In addition, the following terms shall have the meaning set forth herein:


"Electronic communications network" shall mean (a) a transmission system for conveyance by means of electrical, magnetic, or electromagnetic energy, of signals of any description; and (b) any of the following as are used by the persons providing the system and in association with it, for conveyance of the signals: (1) apparatus comprised in the system; (ii) apparatus used for the switching and routing of the systems; and (iii) software and stored data.


"Electronic communications service" shall mean a service consisting in or having as its principal feature the conveyance by means of electronic communications network of signals. It includes wired, wireless, fixed, cellular, and/or mobile, or integrated telecommunications/computer/electronic services, including value-added services, or technologies related to such service, which are present available or made available through technological advances or innovations in the future, and fixed and mobile stations.


SEC. 2. Manner of Operation of Stations or Facilities. — The stations or facilities of the grantee shall be constructed and operated in a manner as will, at most, result only in the minimum interference on the wavelengths or frequencies of existing stations or other stations which may be established by law, without in any way diminishing its own privilege to use its assigned wavelengths or frequencies and the quality of transmission or reception thereon as should maximize rendition of the grantee's services and/or the availability thereof.


SEC. 3. Authority of the National Telecommunications . Commission. — The grantee shall secure from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or the appropriate permits and licenses for the construction, installation, and operation of its telecommunications systems/facilities. In issuing the certificate, the NTC shall have the power to impose such conditions relative to the construction, operation, maintenance, or service level of the telecommunications systems. The NTC shall also have the authority to regulate the construction and operation of the grantee's telecommunications systems. The grantee shall not use any frequency in the radio spectrum without authorization from the NTC. Such certificate shall state the areas covered and the date the grantee shall commence the service. The NTC, however, shall not unreasonably withhold or delay the grant of such authority, permit, or license.


In case of any violation of the provisions of this franchise, the NTC shall have the authority to revoke or suspend, after due process, the permits or licenses it issued pursuant to the franchise. The assignment of frequencies to the franchise shall be subject to review at regular intervals. The NTC shall have the authority to reallocate redundant frequencies held by the franchise. The NTC may recommend to Congress the revocation of the franchise for any violation of the provisions of this franchise.


SEC. 4. Excavation and Restoration Works. - For the purpose of erecting and maintaining poles or other supports for said wires or other conductors for the purpose of laying and maintaining underground wires, cables, or other conductors, it shall be lawful for the grantee, its successors or assignees, with the prior approval of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the local government unit (LGU) concerned, as may be appropriate, to make excavations or lay conduits in any of the public places, roads, highways, streets, lanes, alleys, avenues, sidewalks, or bridges of the province, cities and/or municipalities: Provided, however, That a public place, road, highway, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk, or bridge disturbed, altered or changed by reason of erection of poles or other supports or the underground laying of wires, other conductors or conduits shall be repaired and replaced in workmanlike manner by said grantee, its successors or assignees, in accordance with the standards set by the DPWH or the LGU concerned. Should the grantee, its successors or assignees, after the ten (10)-day notice from the said authority, fail, refuse, or neglect to repair or replace any part of public place, road, highway, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk, or bridge disturbed, altered or changed by the said grantee, its successors or assignees, then the DPWH or the LGU concerned shall have the right to have the same repaired and placed in good order and condition, and charge the grantee, its successors or assignees at double the amount of the costs and expenses for such repair or replacement.


SEC. 5. Responsibility to the Public. — The grantee shall conform to the ethics of honest enterprise and not use its stations/facilities for obscene or indecent transmission, or for dissemination of deliberately false information, or willful misrepresentation, or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.


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


The grantee shall improve and extend its services in areas not yet served, and in hazard and typhoon-prone areas that shall be determined by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, or its legal successor, in coordination with the NTC.


The grantee shall also improve and upgrade its equipment, facilities and services, in order to ensure effective compliance with the objectives of Republic Act No. 10639 or "The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act."


SEC. 6. Rates for Services. — The charges and rates for telecommunications services of the grantee, except the rates and charges on those that may hereafter be declared or considered as nonregulated services, whether flat rates or measured rates or variation thereof, shall be subject to the approval of the NTC or its legal successor.


SEC. 7. Right of the Government. - The radio spectrum is a finite resource that is part of the national patrimony and the use thereof is a privilege conferred upon the grantee by the Senate and may be withdrawn any time after due process.


A special right is hereby reserved to the President of the Philippines, in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster, or disturbance of peace and order: to temporarily take over and operate the facilities or equipment of the grantee; to temporarily suspend the operation of any facility or equipment in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare; or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any agency of the government, upon due compensation to the grantee, for the use of said facilities or equipment during the period when these shall be so operated.


SEC. 8. Term of Franchise. - This franchise shall be extended and in effect for a a period of twenty-five (25) years from its expiration on April 24, 2023, unless sooner revoked or cancelled. This franchise shall be deemed ipso facto in the event the grantee fails to operate continuously for two (2) years.


SEC. 9. Renewal of Extension of Franchise. - The grantee shall apply for the renewal or extension of its franchise three (3) years before its expiration which shall be reckoned from fifteen (15) days after its publication of the franchise in the Official gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.


SEC. 10. Right of Interconnection. - The grantee is hereby authorized to connect or demand connection of its telecommunications systems to other telecommunications systems installed, operated., and maintained by any other duly authorized person or entity in the Philippines for the purpose of providing extended and improved telecommunications services to the public, under such terms and conditions mutually agreed upon by the parties concerned. This shall be subject to the review and modification of the NTC.


SEC. 11. Mobile Number Portability. - The grantee shall provide mobile number portability (MNP) and its implementing mechanism, including the required infrastructure and processes, and shall interconnect, directly or indirectly, with the infrastructure, facilities, systems, or equipment of other telecommunications franchise grantees. It shall not install network features, functions, or capabilities that will impede the implementation of a nationwide MNP system.


SEC. 12. Warranty in Favor of the National and Local Governments. — The grantee shall hold the national, provincial, city, and municipal governments of the Philippines free from all claims, liabilities, accounts, demands, or actions arising out of accidents causing injury to persons or damage to properties, during the construction or operation of the stations, transmitters, facilities, or equipment of the grantee.


SEC. 13. Sale, Lease, Transfer, Usufruct, or Assignment of Franchise. — The grantee shall not sell, lease, transfer, grant the usufruct of, nor assign this franchise or the rights and privileges acquired thereunder to any person, firm, company, corporation or other commercial or legal entity, nor merge with any other corporation or entity, nor shall transfer the controlling interest of the grantee, simultaneously or contemporaneously, to any such person, firm, company, corporation, or entity without the prior approval of the Congress of the Philippines. Congress shall be informed of any sale, lease, transfer, grant of usufruct, or assignment of franchise or the rights and privileges acquired thereunder, or of the merger or transfer of the controlling interest of the grantee, within sixty (60) days after the completion of the said transaction. Failure to report to Congress such change of ownership shall render the franchise ipso facto revoked. Any person or entity to which this franchise is sold, transferred or assigned shall be subject to the same conditions, terms, restrictions, and limitations of this Act.


SEC. 14. Dispersal of Ownership. - In accordance with the constitutional provision to encourage public participation in public utilities, the grantee shall offer to Filipino citizens at least thirty percent (30%) or a higher percentage that may hereafter be provided by law of its outstanding capital stock in any securities exchange in the Philippines within five (5) years from the commencement of its operations: Provided, That in cases where public offer of shares is not applicable, establishment of cooperatives operating public utilities must be implemented. Noncompliance therewith shall render the franchise ipso facto revoked.


SEC. 15. Business Development and/or Expansion Plan. - Except where prevented by force majeure, the grantee shall be obliged to carry out its business development and/or expansion plan which shall contain, among others, the phases of business development or expansion, courses of action to achieve the objectives of the franchise, capitalization, and expected milestones within the franchise term.


SEC. 16. Commitment to Provide and Promote the Creation of Employment Opportunities. - The grantee shall create employment opportunities and shall allow on-the-job trainings in their franchise operations: Provided, That priority shall be accorded to the residents in the area where their principal office is located: Provided, further, That the grantee shall ensure that at least sixty percent (60%) of its employees are regular employees and in no case shall the percentage of contractual employees, job orders, casuals, and independent contractors combined, exceed forty percent (40%) of its total workforce: Provided, finally, That the grantee shall comply with the applicable labor standards and allowance entitlement under existing labor laws, rules and regulations, and similar issuances.


The employment opportunities or jobs created shall be reflected in the General Information Sheet (GIS) to be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) annually, In addition, the grantee shall include in its annual report to Congress the number of trainees and workers whose employment status are made regular, and append the appropriate certificate from the Department of labor and Employment attesting that it has complied with the employment requirement under this section.


SEC. 17. Contract with Private Entities. - The grantee is authorized to contract the installation and operation of the telecommunications system which is the subject of this grant with entities with expertise in the field of telecommunications under such terms and conditions as may be approved by the Commission.


SEC. 18. Tax Provisions. - The grantee, its successors or assignees, shall be liable to pay the same taxes on their real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive of this franchise, as other persons or corporations which are now or hereafter may be required by law to pay, except radio telecommunications and electronic communications equipment, machinery and spare parts needed in connection with the business of the grantee which shall be exempt from customs duties, tariffs and other taxes, as well as those declared exempt in this section. In addition thereto, the grantee, its successors or assignees, shall pay a value-added tax on all gross receipts of the business transacted under this franchise by the grantee, its successors or assignees, in the Philippines, in lieu of any and all taxes of any kind, nature or description levied, established or collected by an authority whatsoever including, but not limited to, city, municipal, provincial or national, from which the grantee is hereby expressly exempted effective from the date of effectivity of this Act: Provided, That the grantee, its successors or assignees, shall continue to be liable for income taxes payable under Title II of the National Internal Revenue Code pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order No. 72 unless the latter enactment is amended or repealed, in which case the amendment or repeal shall be applicable thereto.


The grantee shall file the return with and pay the tax due thereon to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly authorized representative in accordance with the National Internal Revenue Code and the return shall be subject to audit by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.


SEC. 19. Reportorial Requirement. - The grantee shall submit an annual report to the Congress of the Philippines, through the Committee on Legislative Franchises of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Public Services of the Senate, on its compliance with the terms and conditions of the franchise and on its operations on or before April 30 of every year during the term of its franchise.


The annual report shall include an update on the roll-out development, operation and/or expansion of business; audited financial statements; latest GIS officially submitted to the SEC, if applicable; certification of the NTC on the status of its permits and operations; and an update on the dispersal of ownership undertaking, if applicable.


The reportorial compliance certificate issued by Congress shall be required before any application for permit or certificate is accepted by the NTC.


The grantee shall make full report to the President and Congress any form of disclosure of any data or information, assistance, support or cooperation made to a foreign government, its instrumentalities or agents. Failure to make such disclosure shall be a ground for the revocation of the franchise.


The grantee shall also submit the regular security audits of its network and facilities by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Security Council (NSC), among others, to the Congress of the Philippines as part of its reportorial requirements.


SEC. 20. Fine. - Failure of the grantee to submit the requisite report to Congress shall be penalized with a fine in the amount of One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) per working day of noncompliance, the effectivity of which shall commence upon applicability with other telecommunications franchise grantees: Provided, That in the interim, the grantee shall be liable to pay the fine of Five hundred pesos (P500.00) per working day of noncompliance. The fine shall be collected by the NTC from the delinquent franchise grantee separate from the reportorial penalties imposed by the NTC, and the same shall be remitted to the Bureau of Treasury.


SEC. 21. Equality Clause. — Any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under other existing franchises, or  may hereafter be granted, upon prior review and approval of Congress, shall ipso facto become  part of previously granted telecommunications franchises and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the  grantees of such franchises: Provided, however, That the foregoing shall neither apply to nor affect the provisions of telecommunications franchises concerning territory covered by the franchise, the life span of the franchise, or the type of service authorized by the franchise.


SEC. 22. Applicability. - All other provisions of Republic Act No. 8627 which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act and remain unrepealed shall continue to be in full force and effect: Provided, That all pending suits of whatever kind or nature, whether civil, criminal or administrative filed by or against the grantee in connection with the provisions of Republic Act No. 8627 shall continue to be prosecuted under the said law: Provided, further, That all valid and existing liabilities, fines, penalties, surcharges and/or unpaid tax assessments of the grantee from April 19, 1998 until the effectivity of this new Act shall remain valid and enforceable under Republic Act No. 8627.


SEC. 23. Repeatability and Nonexclusivity Clause. -This franchise shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress of the Philippines when the public interest so requires and shall not be interpreted as an exclusive grant of the privilege herein provided for.


SEC. 24. Separability Clause. — If any of the sections or provisions of this Act is held invalid, all other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid.


SEC. 25. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive orders, resolutions, instructions, rules and regulations and other issuances or parts  thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.


SEC. 26. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.



            President of the Senate

            Speaker of the House of Representatives



This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was passed by the House of Representatives on August 24, 2020, amended by the Senate of the Philippines on March 24, 2021, and which amendments were concurred in by the House of Representatives on March 25, 2021.


            Secretary of the Senate

            Secretary General House of Representatives



Approved: MAY 18 2021



    President of the Philippines   






Source: Supreme Court E-Library

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