Philippine leader threatens closure or govt takeover of ‘lousy’ telecom firms

(171220) — QUEZON CITY, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the celebration of the 82nd anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, the Philippines, Dec. 20, 2017. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a unilateral ceasefire with the leftist rebels from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 next year in the observance of the holiday season, the presidential spokesman said on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)(zcc)

MANILA (RAHNUMA): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday threatened the closure or government expropriation of telecoms firms for what he called “lousy” services, and gave providers until December to improve.

“Improve services lest we be forced to take drastic steps,” he said during his state of the nation address. “Might just as well close all of you.”

The country at present has two major telecoms firms PLDT and Globe Telecom and Duterte had previously threatened their closure while campaigning for office in 2016.

Those companies have repeatedly defended their services and investment in improvements and said excessive government bureaucracy has prevented faster network upgrades.

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