Vice presidential candidates explained their plans on how they will free up the market to competition and accelerate Internet speed in the Philippines during the vice presidential debate yesterday (10 April 2016).
Leni Robredo, incumbent Camarines Sur representative, identified lack of regulation, competition, and infrastructure as the main problems for the slow Internet speed in the country. As such, Robredo said she will fix the regulations for service providers who violate the terms and conditions set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and at the same time open opportunities for new competitors.
Together with her running mate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Robredo said they will infuse more capital in infrastructure and put the government in charge of it to avoid monopolisation.
Incumbent Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, on the other hand, said that an independent NTC as well as enabling at least five services providers to franchise are required to enable competition. He added the government should be responsible for establishing infrastructures and provide Internet access to far-flung places in the country.
Meanwhile, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said some politicians are beholden with businessmen thus influencing the appointment to regulatory bodies. As such, Cayetano noted and fully support his running mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's stand to not accept money from businessmen who have contract with the government.
Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, together with her running mate Senator Grace Poe, aims to streamline the establishment of infrastructure and roads to installing fibre optics and cables.
Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II also thinks that allowing international service providers will improve local competition and speed up Internet.
Finally, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. believes that NTC processes should be streamlined, and allow foreign players to penetrate the local market. "Competition is always good for the consumer and we live in a global community, so let us join that global community," he explained.
Overall, candidates unanimously agreed that service providers should be accountable for their failure to deliver the Internet speed that they promised.
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