PT&T prepares for 3rd telco bid

PT&T prepares for 3rd telco bid

Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) implemented a management revamp as it vies to become the country’s third telco player.

PT&T named James Velasquez, former IBM Philippines president and country manager, its new CEO, replacing Benjamin Bitanga, one of the company’s controlling shareholders.

PT&T announced Friday the resignation of Bitanga and Gerardo de Leon from the company’s board. Taking their place were Velasquez and Renato Garcia, who was described as a leader in the telco and IT industry with 44 years of experience.

“PT&T needs a professional who has a background in telco and IT. It is expanding rapidly and it is full time. I am not that person, so I resigned,” Bitanga said in a text message, adding that he would remain a shareholder of the company.

Bitanga and businessman Salvador Zamora II, who sits as PT&T chair, acquired the company in August last year.

Velasquez, a graduate of Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, had spent nearly three decades in IBM in various capacities, PT&T said in a statement.

“The election of Velasquez and Garcia is vital to the business strategy and future plans of PT&T, which intends to become the third major telecom player in the Philippines,” the company added.

PT&T was established in 1962 and was once considered a rival of PLDT. It took a hit during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. About a decade later, it filed for corporate rehabilitation due to mounting debts—an issue that Zamora said the company would address.

“We believe PT&T is in an ideal position to vie for the third telco slot given its technical expertise, solid track record and infrastructure to back it up,” Velasquez said in the statement.

PT&T holds a 25-year franchise, which allows the company to establish, maintain and operate both wired and wireless telecommunications systems for domestic and international communications in the Philippines.

PT&T also operates a newmulti 10+ GBPS (Gigabytes per second) broadband network across National Capital Region, Cebu and in central and southern Luzon.

Garcia, in the same statement, said PT&T would continue to roll out its broadband services for businesses and homes “regardless of the third telco player outcome.”