Amend Public Service Act to enhance telco services — Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo said the Public Service Act (PSA) should be amended to remove the need for telecommunication companies to secure a Congressional franchise while still ensuring their accountability.
“Kailangan kasi mag-incentivize ang pamahalaan na yung mga telcos natin talagang mas aggressive na yung pagpasok sa mga communities. Pero ngayon, hindi sila nagiging aggressive kasi maraming mga hindrances. Halimbawa, yung number one na hindrance: considered kasi siya na public utility na kailangan siyang humingi ng Congressional franchise,” Robredo said during the radio dzBB presidential interviews.
(The government should incentivize telcos to be more aggressive in reaching communities. But now, they are not being aggressive because there are many hindrances. For example, the number one hindrance is the need for them to secure a Congressional franchise because they are considered a public utility.)
This, when asked how she would address the internet connectivity problem in the country if she is elected.
“Para sa akin kailangan nating i-amend ang Public Service Act para siguraduhin natin na hindi na mangailangan ng Congressional franchise yung mga telcos para tuloy-tuloy na, wala nang balakid sa kanilang pagpasok…asikasuhin lang na sisiguraduhin natin na yung accountability nila ay nandiyan pa rin, yung transparency sa pagproseso ay nandiyan pa rin,” she added.
(We need to amend the Public Service act to ensure they will no longer need to secure a Congressional franchise so their entry can be continuous…we should just ensure that there is still accountability and transparency in the processes.)
Robredo further stressed the need for telcos to “work together” in ensuring better services for their consumers.
“Pag nakita natin ngayon, bawat telco ay kanya kanyang tower na sineset up. Dapat sana hindi na ganito, dapat sana meron nang common tower para sa kanila. Ang kailangan ito ng government intervention. Kasi gobyerno yung makakaareglo na isa na lang. Parang lahat ng telcos working together,” she said.
(What we are seeing today is each telco sets up its own tower. This should not be the case. There should be one common tower. What we need is government intervention. It’s like telcos working together.)
Better government intervention is also important to further incentivize telcos to reach “hardship areas” struggling with internet connectivity, according to the vice president.
“Ito male-level natin yung investments na binubuhos, hindi na siya nagi-invest dun sa mga areas na meron siyang returns na tinatarget niya. Pero ‘pag tumulong na kasi ang gobyerno, mas mai-incentivize siya pumasok kahit dun sa mga areas na tinatawag natin na mga hardship areas…mga malalayo, konti lang yung subscribers,” Robredo added.
(We can level the investments being poured in, the companies will not only invest in areas where they will get the returns they are targeting. If there’s government intervention, the companies will be incentivized to enter the so-called hardship areas…far-flung areas, those areas where they don’t have many subscribers.)
“Napakahalaga talaga ng government intervention dito kasi hanggang yung mga pinakasuluksulukan hirap na hirap pa rin ang signal…so kailangan talaga na mas maayos na government intervention para mas maraming investments, mas maraming incentives na binibigay para mas maraming telcos ang mag-interes na mag-invest dito,” she said.
(Government intervention is really important because until now, far-flung areas are still struggling to get a good signal…so we need better government interventions so there will be more investments, more incentives should be given so that more telcos will be interested in investing here.)
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