President Duterte tells telcos to improve services as new school opening nears

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 28, 2020. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte urged telephone companies or telcos to improve their services with the start of the school year this October 5, and the start of mostly online classes in the country.

He noted that online learning is crucial amid the COVID-19 pandemic where face-to-face interaction is very limited.

Iyon lang po. Iyong telco, it’s school time. About a good percentage of our students — studentry are really dependent already on the itong mga Facebook-Facebook and whatever learning that they could get from there,” Duterte said in a televised address to the nation Monday night, Sept. 28.

He noted the “eternal complaint” against telcos regarding their services, and how they are not delivering the commensurate service that Filipinos had paid for.

-Eternal complaint vs telcos-

“Now, with the classes going to start, our students now will rely heavily on the use of electronics…. But itong — the eternal complaint ever since telco came into being, it has been the agony of the Filipino people why until now ang telcos natin is very poor,” he said.

“Far and wide in between the years of its introduction, ang telco from the beginning or the telcos right from the beginning were already being complained of as not delivering the money’s worth of the people,” he noted.

Duterte aired his appeal to telcos to “do a better job” since there are many areas in the country which telco services are not reaching. He said this concern should be looked into. He also urged telcos to make more investments to improve their service.

“I don’t know how to go about this but may I just appeal to iyong mga telecommunications to — can you — can you do a better job? Is there life after this kind of service that you are delivering to the public? Kasi kung kaya ko lang na mag-isang salita nandiyan na kaagad, matagal na itong natapos itong problema ng Pilipinas,” he said.

“We have to talk about this. You know, we have to talk about this seriously actually. This has been bogging the country for so long. It pisses me off to no end really to be discussing these telcos because ang karamihan walang service dito, walang service doon. I said that’s chicken or egg thing. Whether it’s because of the absence of the towers, they are not allowed to build or erected, or itong walang kapasidad itong telcos to invest more,” he said.

But President Duterte said that he also understood the factors that prevent telcos from building more towers that can improve their service, such as the many requirements from local government units, including barangays.

“You know, sometimes the operations or expansion of telcos are hindered by itong the so many requirements from the barangays down and ito namang community… Well, of course, you have every right — every citizen has the right to raise grievance,” he said.

-Duterte to LGUs, “Let telcos do their job”-

Duterte also appealed to LGUs to “let the telcos do their job.”

“Allow them to build the structures, towers if you may, para naman ma-improve nila. It’s a chicken and — chicken and egg thing eh. Which comes first. So your cooperation or the zeal of the telcos to do better,” he said.

President Duterte also noted how Education Secretary Leonor Briones could be adamant on pushing with the class opening amid the pandemic, and how it is important that telcos would be able to deliver.

But he said that even with the class opening, the students’ safety should be ensured.

“I cannot — you know, Secretary Briones is one human being na talagang — she can be adamant at times but always insistent that even with this pandemic evolving in front of us, that education should not be put aside or just pushed in one corner,” he said.

Para sa kanya, the way I see it, is that you fight your COVID-19 and I will do my own thing. So we have to, you know, make some adjustments here to address everybody’s concern. Since it is her worry, the education, so let’s give it to her as long as the students are protected,” he added.

(Eagle News Service)