GOVERNMENT moves to end the duopoly in the multi-billion-peso telecommunications industry to fire the imagination of millions of people across the country.
In the Philippines, which is teeming with cellular phones and other “wonders” of modern technology, the delay in choosing the third telecommunications player is, without doubt, bad news.
In fact, it has drawn the ire of more and more Filipinos, including top government officials, jobseekers, traders, students and ordinary workers, and foreigners doing business in the country.
Aware of the situation, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the first Mindanaoan to occupy the top political post of the land, has pledged to name the third telco before the end of the year.
In last Tuesday’s televised discussion with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, a lawyer, Duterte said he would exercise his powers to choose the telco if negotiations fall through.
“I will resolve it by late November (or) early December. By Christmas, alam na ng mga tao kung sino ang third telco player,” the tough-talking Chief Executive assured the public.
President Duterte also expressed frustration over the continued delay in choosing the third telco player, one of his priorities aimed at improving mobile and internet services in the country.
Like other well-meaning people, Duterte does not believe in getting the lowest bidder, preferring “to choose the best, the most expensive and the one with the best track record in the business.”
The Department of Information and Communications Technology expects to name the third player within the year after missing its initial target of naming the new telco before Duterte’s state-of-the-nation address last July.
With recent developments, the irate people cannot afford to have just two companies to meet the mushrooming telecommunication needs of the burgeoning Philippine population.