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Foreign Internet firms show interest in investing here

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte has said that foreign Internet service providers were trying to enter the country were unable to do so due to alleged inaction by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Duterte reiterated his desire to open up the market to foreign telecommunications players to provide cheaper communications service to the public.

Duterte, in an interview over state-run PTV-4 Friday, said he knows that the Philippines is lagging behind in terms of Internet speed in Southeast Asia.

“Kaya nga. That is why I was hurrying up a competition. The only way to improve your service is bigyan kita ng kompetensiya. Or if there are only two of you, mag-uusap kayo niyan,” he said.

Duterte said if there are only two companies in the playing field, they can set up a price and control the market.

The Chief Executive said there were foreign companies that have expressed intention to enter the country but said he was unsure how many.

“Nandiyan na sa opisina niya eh. I don’t know,” Duterte said, referring to then DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima.

“There’s a Chinese company. May mga Amerikano rin but wala kasi, walang action,” he added.

Duterte said he would have understood if Salalima just released the papers if he couldn’t act on them so if they, by chance, reach him, he would have been able to read them.