MVP to critics: Don’t judge internet providers by the profits we make
Bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan is well aware of the endless grumbling from millions of Filipinos demanding cheaper and faster internet services in the country who begrudge the PLDT-Smart and Globe duopoly for making massive profits out of their misery.
During the Asean Business Investment Summit’s panel on entrepreneurship in the digital economy, moderator Yasu Ota cited Pangilinan as the “oldest” among the panelist to which the PLDT chair added that he was probably “the most criticized” as well.
But Pangilinan was taking all the criticisms in stride as he dafed the audience to ask him about the “challenges of slow internet speeds in this country—both fixed line and mobile.” (There was no Q&A because of time constraints).
In his brief remarks, Pangilinan said PLDT was doing its part to work with the exsiting infrastructure and regulatory environment. “The internet cannot thrive in any particular environment without the proper infrastructure being laid out, whether fixed line or mobile. And that is what we have been trying to do these past few years,” said Pangilinan.
Aside from poor infrastructure, Pangilinan blamed the consumer’s general resistance to shift from cash to digital payments despite being mobile savvy. “That’s been a habit ingrained in our people, [and] we have to break that,” said Pangilinan.
To his crtics, Pangilinan said they should look beyond PLDT-Smart’s P28 billion earnings because internet prviders should be just by more than what they earn.
“At the end of the day, we in the internet world should be judged not by the money or profits we make, but in so many years from today, we have improved the lives of our people less by way of the internet, then we have done a good job,” said Pangilinan.