Bicol Peryodiko

The President’s Ultimatum

            Aside from approving the Bayanihan 2 Bill with its P140-billion stimulus fund and additional powers for the President the Senate agenda would focus on measures to address the massive changes in the country’s digital landscape, education, public transportation, business environment and the arts, so said Senate President Vicente Sotto III during the opening of the second regular session last July 27 with “sense of urgency and purpose”.

            In the months ahead, Sotto added, the Senate would focus on making people’s lives better. He solemnly pledged that the Senate will fight for and in behalf of the Filipino people.

            Notably, the focus on the digital connectivity in the country is imperative due to the movement restrictions brought by the pandemic which has forced many to do their transactions online. Efficient and fast telecommunications (telcos) network is an indispensable component in the country’s socio-economic development and growth before and during the new normal situation we are in now.  

            Invoking public anger, on his penultimate 5th State of the National Address (Sona) last July 27, 2020, President Duterte trained his sights on the two dominant telecommunication companies in the country and warned them to shape up by December or face expropriation.

           Addressed to a joint session of Congress, the president who prefers to be called Mayor Duterte   , took a shot at big business once more and said he would take drastic steps against PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom if they would not improve their services. That’s PDU30’s ultimatum.

           Locally, the dismal services of these big telcos have been experienced by businessmen and individual subcribers in the capital town of Virac. We could only imagine the indignations caused by delays or cancelled transactions in the tune of millions of lost economic opportunities. 

           This is precisely what PDU30 meant when he invoked public anger.  This crusading community newspaper recognizes Globe Telecom’s response to said ultimatum. The company promised to “heed the call of the President to improve telco services” which went on to said that “it remained an active partner of the government during the coronavirus crisis. 

           Although there was no immediate statement from PLDT right after the president’s call, we would like to assume that PLDT management had their strategies made to heed that call.

           Let’s hope and pray that the third carrier in the industry, China-backed DITO Telecommunity prepares and is ready for its commercial rollout as soon as possible. That the Internet Transaction Act, one of the 21 priority measures laid out by the president, be passed into law.  

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