Well, I cannot manage to look into all the details of the State of the Nation Address. Like I did two years ago, I will address the Telecommunication. Two years ago he promised to do something about the duopoly of Globe and Smart. However, President Rodrigo Duterte have reached that goal, but for whatever reason. There is still just two companies running the game and the others trying to follow their speed.
So, I will show one quote from last year and show what he said this year.
In SONA 2018 he said this:
“My administration remains firm in its resolve to ensure that the country’s telecommunications services are reliable, inexpensive and secure. A draft Terms of Reference for the entry of a new, major industry player is at hand. The terms will be fair, reasonable and comprehensive. It will be inclusive so it will be open to all interested private parties, both foreign and local” (Rodrigo Duterte SONA 2018, 23.07.2018).
This year he said this:
“I call on our [telecommunication] companies to improve their services lest we be forced to take drastic steps to address the less-than-ideal service that the public is getting from you. Alam mo sisingit na lang ako dito. I am… Sometimes we are a government pictured to be weak and incompetent because we cannot really force our mandate. Alam mo itong nagbibigay ng mga public services, you better improve” (…) “If it’s just a question of added capitalization or the infusion of money, go and look for it” (…) “we are a republic, a sovereign country, bear that in mind because the patience of the Filipino people is reaching its limit. At I will be the one to articulate the anger of the Filipino people. And you might not want what I intend to do with you. Kindly improve the services before December. I want to call Jesus Christ to Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared. [applause]” (…) “Tell us now if you cannot really improve on it because I will work by December. I have two years. The next two years will be spent improving the telecommunications of this country without you. I will find a way. I will talk to Congress and find a way how to do it. [applause]” (Rodrigo Duterte SONA 2020, 27.07.2020).
However, there been changes to the duopoly, but with no significant results. That why his focus is on the service and how reliable the telecommunication companies are. This shows that there is no magic wand to this and someone cannot just set up shop to elevate the market.
We have seen that DITO and Mislatel, who were both newcomers to the market have no range or capacity. Maybe, not strong enough ability to sway users from the old ones. As the President only mentions the two old companies. It is still a landscape controlled by Globe and Smart. That is why the President is bugging out about their services.
That’s maybe why he wants the two whose already operating to do it better. These have the ability to get away with it. Since, the customers are there and really it is not abundant of choices. They own the market and therefore, they put the standards and the needed work in. However, they don’t need to push it. In some ways they are alone. Since the people have not changed from their old ones or its to costly to become subscriber to the new services.
Globe and Smart can play this one out. I think Globe dropped a statement quickly after the SONA, but that was an act of defence, which is natural in the circumstances. The President talked about calling Bethlehem ahead of Christmas. I’m sure the Holy Spirit will guide him there. Because, I doubt the service will be revolutionized in the months ahead. Peace.