Senate President Vicente Sotto III advised Smart and Globe, the two leading telecommunication companies in the country, to take President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat seriously.
“If I were the telcos, I will take the threat of the President seriously,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
The President said during the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon that he would coordinate with the Congress to remove Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. from the industry if they would not improve their service by December.
“Kindly improve the services before December. I want to call Jesus Christ to Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared,” Duterte said.
“The next two years will be spent improving the telecommunications of the country without you. I will talk to Congress and find a way how to do it,” he added.
Globe meanwhile responded to the President’s call saying they already invested billions of dollars in improving their services.
“We heed the call of the President to improve telco services,” it said in a statement following Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Globe said it had allocated $1.2-billion for its capital spending this year, mainly to fund its network and capacity build.
“These substantial investments are paying off as we experience marked service improvements,” it said.
“Service performance and increased consumer demand for data are the key reasons why we have been investing billions of dollars to upgrade and improve our network,” it added.
According to Globe, it would soon launch mobile fifth-generation 5G services in the Philippines, with its network currently running at 4G/LTE.
“We express our optimism that the recently signed Joint Memorandum Circular 01 s.2020 spearheaded by the DICT 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,” it said.
Globe was referring to the government’s common tower policy, whose guidelines were released by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in June.
Another telecommunication company, Dito Telecommunity Corp., would soon enter the Philippine market. It is supported by businessman Dennis Uy who supported Duterte during his presidential campaign in 2016.