President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 28, 2020. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night called out telecommunication companies anew for providing poor services to Filipinos.

He said Filipinos were not getting their money’s worth from paying telco service fees, and this has become an “eternal complaint.”

“Ever since telco came into being, it has been the agony of the Filipino people why until now ang telcos natin is very poor. Far and wide in between the years of its introduction, ang telco from the beginning or the telcos right from the beginning were already being complained of as not delivering the money’s worth of the people,” Duterte said in his weekly public address, a week before classes in public schools nationwide start.

“I don’t know how to go about this but may I just appeal to iyong mga telecommunications— can you do a better job? Is there life after this kind of service that you are delivering to the public?” he continued.

In a meeting with Duterte and Cabinet members last July, Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said lengthy permitting processes of local government units and government agencies hd long hindered tower and cell site-building of telcos.

Duterte acknowledged this and told concerned agencies to “let the telcos do their job.”

“Allow them to build the structures, towers if you may, para naman ma-improve nila. It’s a chicken and egg thing eh. Which comes first. So your cooperation or the zeal of the telcos to do better,” he said.

“We have to talk about this seriously actually. This has been bogging the country for so long. It pisses me off to no end really to be discussing these telcos because ang karamihan walang service dito, walang service doon,” he continued.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address, Duterte threatened Smart and Globe to close down or seize telcos and their facilities if they do not improve services by December.

An index by, an internet speed benchmarking site, ranked the Philippines 114th among 138 countries in mobile internet speeds and 108th among 171 countries in broadband internet speeds. John Ezekiel J. Hirro