Poe to Telcos: Unmask Those Behind Permit Woes in Bureaucracy

Faster internet connections are being held back by slow permit approvals.
Photo/s: Grace Poe Facebook page

Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called on telecommunications companies to name those in the bureaucracy who make it hard for them to secure permits to build telecommunications towers. Her statements add to pressure from President Rodrigo Duterte for carriers to improve services as as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

Instead of complaining, whistblowers should come out, said Poe, chairperson of the Senate Public Services Committee that handles telecommunications and other utilities.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his penultimate State of the Nation Address last Monday address gave Globe Telecom and Smart Communications until December to improve their services, adding, " I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared."

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"Alam ko hindi magiging madali 'yan dahil natatakot sila na baka mas lalo silang ipitin. Pero kung seryoso talaga ang ating gobyerno at ang ating Pangulo na mapabilis ang internet, alam kong hindi mapapabayaan ang hinaing ng ating mga kababayan na mabigyan nang tamang serbisyo (I know it won't be easy because they are afraid of more harassment. But if the government and our President are really serious in improving internet connections, I know that the pleas of our countrymen for better service will not be ignored.)," she added.

In its response to the President's call, Globe Telecom said its services were getting better, and the country could see more improvements if permits were approved faster.

In 2018, Poe led an investigation into the entry of third telco, Mislatel, a joint venture between China Telecom and businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp.

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