PLDT Chairman Manny Pangilinan and Globe Telecom Director Fernando Zobel de Ayala pledged to supply the government’s One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) with more phone lines.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque put the two telco bosses on the spot after Health Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Vega reported that the OHCC needed more phone lines to field communications between hospitals.

“Ang hirap talaga kumuha ng linya ngayon. Ang ginagamit po namin iyong mga cellphones lang po, pero kung may fixed lines ho tayo mas maganda kung mayroon kaming dedicated na landlines po sa aming One Hospital [Command Center],” Vega said.

Zobel said Globe would do its best to assist the government.

“It really depends on the requirements, but we’ll do our best to do assist you,” he said.

Pangilinan said PLDT would provide the fixed communication lines “right away.”

Roque also thanked Pangilinan for the P45 million worth of equipment he donated to East Avenue Medical Center.

President Rodrigo Duterte during his fifth State of the Nation Address last July 27 threatened to seize Globe and Smart’s facilities if they did not improve their services by December.

“If you are not ready to improve, I might just as well close all of you and we revert back to the line telephone at kukunin ko yan, ie-expropriate ko,” Duterte said.

Globe President Ernest Cu appeared in a meeting with Duterte days after, blaming red tape for causing delays in the building of cell towers. 

He said Globe needed to secure 28 to 30 permits to put up a single tower. The process, he added, took about eight months. John Ezekiel J. Hirro