Duterte reiterates foreign internet companies to enter local market

This development came as Duterte reiterated again his desire to open up the Philippine market to foreign telecommunications players.

Rodrigo Duterte Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is hinting a good news to foreign internet companies who want to penetrate the Philippines market of 100 million people. This development came as he reiterated again his desire to open up the Philippines market to foreign telecommunications players.

Duterte said he already received the information that foreign internet companies already signified their intention to open up their companies in the Philippines and their applications were already submitted to the Department of Information Communication and Technology (DICT), a government agency that assesses the capability of internet companies to operate their business in the country.

However, Duterte earlier slammed the DICT for not processing the application of these foreign companies. Duterte said the alleged inaction of DICT is causing the delay of the application of foreign service providers.

Duterte also partly blamed former DICT cabinet minister Rodolfo Salalima for not acting to fast-track the application of foreign internet service providers. The President made this announcement days after DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima tendered his resignation.

Known to have the slowest internet service in Asia, the Philippines continues to struggle from having slow internet services while the country is becoming a growing hub for home-based freelance online writers serving countries in the US, Singapore, Australia and others.

There are only three major internet service providers operating in the Philippines Smart, PLDT, Globe and SunCell. Thus, Duterte warned that the only way to improve internet service is to give the local providers new competitors.

Among the foreign internet providers who wanted to enter the Philippine market are American and China-based telecommunications companies which Duterte refused to name at the moment.

A number of cabinet ministers have already resigned from the Duterte administration after cabinet ministers were alleged to be involved in a conflict of interest anomalies. Most of those who resigned were his close associates who convinced and supported him to run for president.

When journalists asked his reaction about why these cabinet ministers were resigning, Duterte replied that he does not want corruption or gossips of corruption in his administration.