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11月25日のまにら新聞から

Duterte to open telecoms and power sectors for foreigners

[ 687 words|2016.11.25|英字 ]

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to open up the telecommunication and energy sectors to foreigners to stop the monopoly of local companies which have been charging high rates but with poor services.

In a press conference in Davao City Wednedsay night upon arriving from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Peru, Duterte also warned he will abolish the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) if its executives would not quit their posts and to dismantle huge fishpens that deprive small fishermen of good catch.

"In the area of communications, we’re finalizing our plans to open up information and communications technology industry to new players in order to promote competitiveness and improve quality of service," Duterte said.

"The only way to make this country faster to benefit the poor is really to open up communications, the airwaves, and the entire energy sector. " he added.

In opening up the telecommunication sector, he clarified he did not "want to have a quarrel with the Ayala’s and Pangilinan," referring to the owners of big telecommunication firms.

But he said if these firms will lower their charges, there will be no problem and "I will forget my statement."

Duterte said he would like "to send this strong message" it is about time to share the money of the entire country, to move faster and make competition open for all.

"If it's like this, with the corrupt government and with the limited area to move, you’ll stymie competition and we will always be at the mercy of the corrupt people in this planet," he said.

Duterte admitted that the Philippines does not monopolize government corruption, saying the problem is shared by the whole international arena.

"But I would like not to wait for the others. I will open up the Philippines and, maybe reroute the entire red tape," he said.

Duterte is looking into regulatory requirements and institutional arrangements to hasten the entry of new players in the power industry and energy sector.

Following recent developments in the ERC, he said he has directed a comprehensive review of all legal remedies to overhaul and effect changes in the agency, including the officials.

Duterte earlier ordered the ERC executives to resign from their post following the suicide by a director who was allegedly pressured to approve rigged contracts in the agency.

"I have received word that the members of the, that body have refused to step down. I demanded that they all resign. You don't want (to step down), it's easy. We will abolish the office. I will not grant any single centavo," Duterte said, adding, "you can stay there forever. I’ll set-up another."

"I have previously enjoined all government agencies to be above board in their transaction. I am now reiterating my position that all allegations of corruption shall be dealt with seriously… severely."

Duterte said similar directive was also issued in relation to fishpen operations and other related economic activities in the Laguna de Bay and other parts of the country.

"I do not propose to deprive you of your livelihood. But in all of those who have fishpens across the country, you have deprived the man with a paddle and banca of their food," he said.

He ordered the operators of the big fishpen, such as governors, mayors, village captains, military, police, retired or active duty, to make arrangements with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

"Limit your area, you can fence it. But you have to give the bigger share to the so many fisher folk," he said.

"If you cannot do the job, by the second week of December, I will order the military to destroy it and this time no more arrangement of what will be your area," he added.

He said if the operators of fishpens would not destroy their property, they would lose their investments.

"You can go to the Supreme Court. You can go to the whatever you want, Ombudsman, and file your cases there, but it will be my direct order and I will assume full responsibility for them. You make it hard for us and you will be sorry," Duterte said. Celerina Monte/DMS