(UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that just like every mobile subscriber, he got a "cannot be reached" message when trying to make a call. In his State of the Nation Address, he gave Globe Telecom and Smart Communications until December to improve their services.
Duterte stressed the importance of mobile services during the COVID-19 quarantine, where telecommunications facilitates work and business from home. He said telecommunications firms should invest in improving their systems.
"Kindly improve the services before December. I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared," he said.
"If it's just a question of added capitalization or the infusion of money, go and look for it. Maghanap kayo because if you are not ready to improve, I might just as well close all of you and revert back to line telephone," he said.
"Bear that in mind because the patience of the Filipino people is reaching its limit. I will be the one to articulate the anger of the people," he said.
Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said the Ayala-led telco would heed the President's cause. This year, he said Globe set aside $1.2 billion (P59 billion) for capital expenditures.
"These substantial investments are paying off as we experience marked service improvements. In fact, we are being cited globally for having improved internet experience," Cu said on Facebook.
"Despite this, the industry is not without its challenges. We have been experiencing long-drawn permitting process across LGUs, HOAs, and national agencies in our cellsite builds and laying down of fiber to homes, but we are positive that with the policies being enacted by the DICT, we will be able to fast-track builds of telco towers for a more robust connectivity and internet services for every Filipino," he said.