NTC told to be transparent as time for Digong to assess telcos has come

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ought to tell President Duterte the truth about telecommunications companies' (telcos) yearend performance as it relates to his ultimatum against them.

Thus, said Tarlac 2nd district Rep. Victor Yap Monday following the lapse of the deadline imposed by the Chief Executive for the telcos to improve their supposed lousy service, particularly when it comes to Internet speed.

Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology, said he believes the NTC has the data that would help Duterte assess whether or not the telcos followed his orders.

"I believe they are prepared. They should report this to the President and the people. Just be transparent," Yap said.

It was during Duterte's fifth State of the Nation Address (SoNA) last July 27, 2020, when he told telcos to improve the quality of their service by December or else he'll take matters in his own hands.

The President didn't specify the consequences, but this tough talk was welcomed by people in and out of Congress especially since the Philippines continues to be a punchline because of snail-paced Internet connection. The persisting COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the country's Internet woes.

Last November or just a month before the lapse of Duterte's deadline, Yap actually asked NTC Dir. Imelda Walcien for data on telcos' performance indicators so that his committee could help solve the problem.

"Do you have any report regarding their services? For one, penetration--what areas do they cover; two, their Internet speed in relation to what the President said. He wants them to shape up by December right?" the former Tarlac governor said in the virtual hearing.

At that time, Walcien told the House panel that the NTC was still "consolidating its report."

Asked Monday if the Commission had complied in the interim, Yap said: "No, unfortunately they always don't."