Duterte warns to shut down PLDT, which owes gov't P8B, if it won't improve 8888 hotline
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to shut down PLDT Inc. if it would not add another hotline where people could air their complaints against the government.
Duterte issued the warning during the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Cebu City on February 24.
"If you see corruption, tell me. Call 8888," he said in a speech as he asked his former aide Christopher "Bong" Go to tell PLDT to add another trunk line.
"The present setup can't accommodate all the calls. It's always busy. Tell PLDT. If not, I'll shut down their business," Duterte said.
He said the telecommunication giant owes the government.
"I don't want to brag, but they owe government eight billion (pesos). No president has ever asked for payment," Duterte said without elaborating.
In a statement, PLDT said it is addressing Duterte's concern.
"We are currently taking steps to address the concern expressed by the President to improve the public's access to the Citizen's Complaint Center 8888 hotline number," it said.
Hotline 8888, also known as the National Citizen's Complaints Hotline, was established in August 2016 shortly after Duterte assumed office. It is a feedback channel that the citizens use to report inefficiencies and corruption in government. Celerina Monte/DMS