Duterte to telcos: improve services until December

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MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address told telecommunications companies to improve services until December.

He threaten them of expropriation if they don’t perform. The president was pertaining to the current duopoly of the country.

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In his speech, he went off the script and quipped at the “less than ideal” performance of the said companies.

He threatened both Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. He said that their uncompliance might force him to take “drastic steps” against both firms.

“You know, these companies providing public services better improve. Don’t make us wait for 10 years to experience the kind fo service being enjoyed by other countries,” he said.

“If you are not ready to improve, I might just as well close all of you and we revert back to line telephone. I will expropriate that and give that to government,” he threatened.

Pangilinan-owned firm PLDT is has not given any statements to the press.

Meanwhile, Globe, a company that Ayala owns, has yet to release a statement on the matter.

‘Improve services until December’ – a demand

Back in 2018, Duterte took active steps to challenge this duopoly. He opened up bidding for a third company to improve the market competition.

The winner of the said bidding was Dito Telecommunity. They previously announced that they would open this July.

However, they are delaying their launch by 6 months due to the pandemic.

Statista, a data providing company, said that both companies have only 18 million cell sites in the country. At least 30.4 million mobile users are sharing the services provided through these infrastructure.

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