Duterte to take over NTC by Dec for being stumbling block to Smart-Globe duopoly killer
President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to take over the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to make sure that his long-wanted third telco player would start operations before the end of the year.
Duterte revealed his frustration over NTC and its footdragging Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba during a tete-a-tete with Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo who described the agency the biggest stumbling block to the President’s desire to smash the Smart-Globe duopoly and provide cheaper and more reliable mobile phone an internet services.
Panelo claimed that “key players” who wanted to make a big splash in the telecommunication industry were being stonewalled by NTC which apparently wanted to retain the status quo.
“There appears to be a monopoly ng dalawang giant corporations and according to this, gustong pumasok, ito daw pong ating NTC eh nag-i-impose ng maraming kondisyon na umaatras sila. Para bang ayaw nilang kayo’y maging matagumpay sa pagpasok ng third player,” said Panelo.
Duterte agreed with Panelo.
“Matagal na ‘yun. Sabi nga December. Ah I will — maybe late early November ‘pag wala pa, I’ll take over. Ilagay ko ‘yan sa Office of the President,” said Duterte.
“I will invite all, dito negosyante and I will decide in front of them kung sino. Dito, I will… Give me your position papers. I’ll read it, give me about 30 minutes, then I’ll come back and would tell them now. I will decide,” he added.
Duterte said that if Smart and Globe refused to give frequencies to the new player, he would force them to sell it to government and he would dictate how long to pay them.
“Now ayaw nilang ibigay ‘yung linya, sabihin ko kunin mo. Get it. I’ll expropriate it, I’ll pay you. But you wait until kingdom come. Tutal originally libre man ‘yan. Bakit nagkaroon na ng mga costings-costings? You bear the cost and you bear the burden,” said Duterte.
Since his appointment in 2008, the duopoly of Smart and Globe has flourished under Cordoba who has turned a blind eye on mounting complaints of overcharging, slow internet speed, dropped calls, stolen load, poor service and abuse of consumers.