Invoking public outrage on Monday President Rodrigo Duterte set his sights on the country’s two dominant telecommunications firms and warned them to form or face expropriation by December. Duterte took a shot at the big business once again in his fifth speech to a congressional joint session and said he would take drastic action against PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom if they didn’t boost their services.
In a statement released after the President’s address, Globe said that during the coronavirus crisis it remained an active partner of government. It said it had extended funding to public and private hospitals, quarantines, and health staff, and it partnered with the DepEd to funding the education sector through low-cost data plans and tools, as well as teacher training, online platforms and mental health support. Globe also pointed out that it provided its customers with a combined P1.3 billion in assistance during the pandemic.
Duterte issued the warning, as China-backed DITO Telecommunity, the industry ‘s third carrier, is preparing for its commercial rollout. Because of the latest coronavirus pandemic, it also comes as companies, schools, and government offices are gradually moving to digital activity amid movement restrictions.
The health crisis has prompted a move to remote education but the slowness, costliness, and unavailability of internet access in far-flung areas of the world make the Department of Education’s (DepEd) assertion of readiness for the new tack dubious.
On his statement, He calls out on the country’s communication firms to boost their services, lest they will be forced to take drastic measures to fix the less than desirable service that the public receives from them. He acknowledged the government is being portrayed as ineffective because it can not fulfill its mandate.
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