ICT must monitor complaints vs DITO; forfeit bond if it fails to deliver—Hontiveros

Published May 26, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday, May 26 urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to monitor the complaints against Dito Telecommunity Corporation.

Hontiveros said the DICT should demand the China-owned third telecommunications company in the Philippines to step up its services amid reports of consumer complaints about its “poor services.”

The senator also said the agency should forfeit the P25.7-billion performance bond if Dito fails to deliver on its promises.

“From the start, Dito promised that the competition will improve because there would be a third telco. They even boasted of having a ‘near-Singapore’ internet speeds,” Hontiveros pointed out.

“Nasaang banda na ‘yan ngayon? Sa dami ng reklamo tungkol sa kanila ngayon, parang mas nabigyan lang ng sakit ng ulo ang mga Pilipino (Where is that now? With so many complaints against them, it seems like they gave Filipinos more headache,” the senator said.

She cited reports of netizens flooding Dito’s social media page with negative reviews, after Dito announced its pop-up shops around Metro Manila. Most of the comments centered on issues about intermittent signal, incompatibility of SIM cards with many mobile phones, and slow internet connection, among others.

Hontiveros stressed that Dito made a commitment to deliver 27 megabits per second internet speed within the first year of operations and pledged to provide 55 Mbps of internet speed that could reach 84 percent of the population within five years.

President Rodrigo Duterte also recently signed a 25-year franchise for Dito.

“The DICT should monitor Dito and compel Dito to fix its services. If it cannot step up, the government can very well claim the billions of pesos in performance bond when we want,” she reiterated.

“That money may be better off used for our health and economic needs in this pandemic,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros had voted against the approval of Dito’s franchise as she expressed fears that the telco could pave way for China to pursue its interests in the West Philippine Sea, which it claims to be theirs. [Hannah L. Torregoza]