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DICT chief threatens to deliver needed sting on telco industry

/ 12:22 AM February 23, 2017

The head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Wednesday promised a “no-holds-barred” summit next month, during which key stakeholders vowed to resolve once and for all woes on the quality of internet in the Philippines.

In a press conference ahead of the Philippine Telecoms Summit 2017 that will run from March 9-10, DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima reassured the public he heard “loud and clear” concerns on internet speed, affordability and coverage.

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“I intend to solve these problems via the summit, but we alone at DICT cannot solve all these problems without the participation of all stakeholders here,” Salalima said.

Salalima, considered a telco industry “pillar” and the former chief legal counsel of Globe Telecom, has drawn criticism for being too soft on the country’s two major telco service providers, PLDT Inc. and Globe.

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He said serving the public was a key function of the DICT but noted, as he had in previous briefings, that government also had a role to play in cutting bureaucratic red tape.

“I came from that industry, I know by personal experience their problems and I know how to solve the problem,” he added.

Salalima said an executive order would be ready next month that would compel government agencies and local government units— where much of the permitting bottlenecks occur—to process all permits for public service applications within seven days.

He said the National Telecommunications Commission was also “measuring” the performance of telco players, results of which would be presented at the summit.

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