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Palace approves 25-year franchise extension of NOW Telecom

MANILA - (UPDATE) Malacañang on Friday confirmed it has approved a 25-year extension of the franchise of NOW Telecom, one of the firms vying to be part of the third telco player in the Philippines. 
Malacañang announced that NOW Telecom's franchise would be extended up to the year 2043.
Businessman Mel Velarde, CEO of NOW Corp, which partly owns NOW Telecom, posted late Thursday on Facebook photos of documents showing the approved franchise. 
In a disclosure to the stock market, NOW Corp also said that its franchise was extended under Republic Act No. 10972.
"With the said law, NOW TELECOM, as a telecommunications company, now has privileges similar to those granted to existing dominant players in the industry," the firm said.

NOW Corp's shares closed higher by 4.39 percent on Friday. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology expects to announce the third telco player by the middle of May. - with reports from Vivienne Gulla and Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News