MANILA

Palace trusts telcos would improve '8888' hotline

MALACAÑANG expressed optimism Wednesday, February 27, that telecommunication companies would act on President Rodrigo Duterte's call to improve access to the "8888" citizens' complaint hotline.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace was confident that telecommunication giants would do their "very best" to ensure that Filipinos could easily report complaints to the "8888" hotline.

"Given all this, it is clear why the President would be displeased when our countrymen's efforts to access the 8888 Hotline are frustrated," Panelo said.

"Moving forward, we trust that telecommunications networks that act as crucial access points for the system shall endeavor their very best to improve the capacity and resiliency of the system because at the end of the day, Hotline 8888 is meant to ensure the general welfare of the Filipino people," he added.

The 24-hour "8888" national citizens' complaint hotline, established through Executive Order 6 signed in Augsut 2016, is intended to accept complaints or grievances about red tape, corruption and other abuses involving government agencies.

In 2017, Senator Leila de Lima sought the investigation of hotline complaint, following the supposed failure to accommodate 1.4 million calls in the first five months of operation because the service was "undermanned."

In a speech delivered in Cebu City on Sunday, February 24, Duterte threatened to shut down telecommunication giant PLDT Inc. if it fails to set up more trunk lines for the complaint hotline.

Panelo said the President merely wanted the improved service in accommodating calls to the "8888" hotline to ensure "public accountability and transparency of government service."

He noted that the complaint hotline was under the direct supervision of the Office of the President "to ensure the fulfillment of President Duterte's commitment of quick access for the people."

"Before the issuance of Executive Order No. 6, public avenues for redress of grievances were largely fragmented among different government agencies and the public was left in doubt as to whom to contact and request for an update as regards the status of their complaints," the Palace official said.

"Thus, the President envisioned the creation of an integrated system for the consolidation, monitoring and addressing of complaints that would be accessible to every Filipino 24/7, which is prompt and responsive," he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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