Palace dares telcos to commit when to provide better services
Malacanang challenged on Tuesday telecommunication companies to give a timeline when they could give improved services to the public after President Rodrigo Duterte made sure local government units would not delay processing of permits and other documents for the establishment of towers in various parts of the country.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said from the time Duterte warned the telcos last July to improve their services or get shut down by December, the situation appeared to be the same.
"The President perhaps also noticed that there is still no improvement (on the telco services)," he said.
Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart Communications, the two largest telcos in the country, earlier said one of the major obstacles in further improving their services was their failure to immediately get the necessary permits and alleged corruption in LGUs in building towers.
Since then, Duterte tasked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano to ensure that LGUs would not give the telcos a hard time in getting permits to build towers.
Ano frequently reported to Duterte, especially during his weekly message to the public, updates on the permits being processed by the LGUs for the construction of telco towers.
"So, we are encouraging our telcos: What will you give in return after the President granted your request to accelerate the approval of telecom towers? As I see it, since you have already gotten the approvals, it's a matter of installing the telecoms towers," Roque said.
"But I would like to invite both companies to submit to us (the list) of the new towers that you have constructed and I really want them to commit when they can have better services," he said.
Roque also complained of the bad services of his telecom provider.
"The problem may not be the tower since up to now, it seems there's no improvement," he said.
Roque said there is also the need for a third telco, the Dito Telecommunity Corp., to fully operate.
To break the telco duopoly, the Duterte administration allowed Dito, a joint venture between Udenna Group and China Telecom, to be the third player. Celerina Monte/DMS