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Solons thrilled over Duterte’s tough talk on telcos

President Duterte’s tough talk against local telecommunications companies (telcos) during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) Monday was music to the ears of several congressmen.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his 5th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives Complex in Quezon City on July 27, 2020. (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

During the address, Duterte slammed the telcos for their “lousy service” and warned them that he would do something about it by December if they fail to improve.

“This is what we need right now especially with the challenges of online learning for students in the new normal,” said Tarlac 2nd district Rep. Victor Yap.

On top of this, Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology, also batted for the passage of his pet measure, House Bill (HB) No.57 or the proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act.

He said this would “open up competition” in the ICT industry, paving the way for more players and lowering cost for consumers.

PBA Party-List Rep. Jericho Nograles revealed that as per the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), up to 63 percent of the country was in the “dark” or without signal back in 2016.

“Sa 2018 yung numero na iyan ay hindi gumalaw. Sigurado po ako sa panawagan ng Pangulo, sisilipin ng Kongreso ang state of communications ng ating bansa. (By 2016, that number was still unchanged. I’m sure that with the appeal of the President, Congress will look into the state of communications in the country.),” he said.

The Energy panel vice-chairman underscored that the new normal as well as the country’s future economy in the time of COVID-19 would be highly dependent on good communications infrastructure.

Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera said it would serve the big telcos better to heed President Duterte’s call for better service now.

“Sabi na mismo ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte: No face-to-face [classes] hangga’t wala pang COVID-19 vaccine na nakakarating sa Pilipinas. Kaya dapat pagtutuunan ang pagsasaayos ng Internet signal sa buong bansa (President Rodrigo Duterte said it himself: No face-to-face classes until a COVID-19 vaccine reaches the Philippines. Thus, the need to fix the Internet signal in the entire country),” Herrera added.

Read more: Duterte warns telcos: Improve by December or get shut down

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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