A BUSINESS group leader saw nothing wrong in President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to shut down two telecommunication giants in the country if they fail to improve their services to support the National Government’s move in boosting digital learning platforms by the end of the year.
“It is good to pressure them,” Mandaue Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Steven Yu said on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
He said the President’s warning to Pangilinan-led Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and the Ayalas’ Globe Telecom Inc. will promote competition.
The President attacked PLDT and Globe during his fifth State of the Nation Address last Monday, July 27.
Globe Telecom stated in a press release that it heeds the President’s call to improve its services.
“Although we have seen marked improvements, the industry is not without its challenges. The long-drawn permitting process across LGUs (local government units), HOAs (homeowners associations) and national agencies including the DOH (Department of Health) and CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) have hampered cell site builds and laying down of fiber to homes.”
It added: “We express our optimism that the recently signed Joint Memorandum Circular 01s.2020 spearheaded by the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) with other national agencies to fast track builds of telco towers will finally lead the way to a more robust connectivity in the country and provide internet services to every Filipino.”
PLDT has yet to issue a statement on the President’s threat.
On July 28, the shares of Globe Telecom and PLDT fell over three percent. The shares of the new telecommunication player owned by Filipino-Chinese businessman Dennis Uy, who is close to Duterte, jumped nearly 11 percent, Reuters reported.
Uy contributed millions to the presidential campaign of Duterte, who won in 2016. The President has been attacking Pangilinan, Ayalas and Lopezes of ABS-CBN for being “oligarchs.”
Good for consumers
Improving the internet connection in the country is good for the consumers , Yu said.
The MCCI leader said he is optimistic PLDT and Globe Telecom will deliver improved services.
Relief for MSMEs
Yu, on another hand, was pleased after the President mandated the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to provide regulatory relief for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), and allow loan payment extension without incurring penalties and charges.
Yu said it is good that the President knows tourism is one of the revenue-generating industries in the country, as the latter urged Filipinos to travel locally. Cebu, he said, is also reliant on tourism.
In his Sona, the President urged Congress to reinstitute death penalty as the capital punishment for persons involved in drug trafficking.
The President has a supporter in Police Regional Office 7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro, who believes that the illegal drug trade will subside if there is death penalty.
He said there are convicted drug traffickers who continue their illegal activities behind bars by contacting their underlings.
“Remember that those being imprisoned with finality of their conviction are in the Bureau of Correction (in Metro Manila). Unfortunately, because there is no death penalty, they are still managing their illegal drugs activity. Even if we seized tons of shabu, there is still a proliferation of shabu because they are really not afraid,” Ferro said. (KFD, AYB / KAL)