Industry

In Response to Duterte's SONA, Dennis Uy's Dito Telco Says It Will Launch 'Soonest'

In his SONA, Duterte threatened to shut down Dito's competitors Globe and Smart if they didn't improve service.
IMAGE UDENNA CORP., UNSPLASH
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Dito Telecommunity, the telco company of Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy, is “on track” to roll out by March 2021.

The telco released a statement in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong words regarding telcos Smart and Globe during last night’s State of the Nation. The president threatened to take over the telcos should services not improve by December.

“If you are not ready to improve, I might as well close all of you and revert back to line telephone,” said Duterte during the July 27 SONA. “At kukunin ko 'yan, i-expropriate ko sa gobyerno. 'Yung Smart, pati 'yung Globe, ilang taon na ito? At ang sagot palagi sa akin, 'The party cannot be reached.' Eh kung gano'n lang naman, ibigay ninyo sa amin....Kindly improve the services before December. I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared.

Dito disclosed that while the company shared the president’s concern for “world class connectivity,” it will not speak further on his statement.

The country’s third telco is “currently working on meeting the 27 mbps and 37 percent coverage in time for the government technical audit,” which is slated for January 2021.

“Let me assure the Filipino people that we recognize the clamor for the third major telco to already go on-air,” said Dito Telecommunity’s chief administrative officer Adel Tamano. “Dito is doing all it can to work through the challenges, move forward, and launch soonest.”

Dito Stocks Up, Globe and PLDT Down

The day after the SONA, Dito’s shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange saw a 3.38 percent increase while its competitors were less lucky.

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As a result of being the target of Duterte’s harsh words during the SONA, Globe and PLDT (under which Smart operates) shares both dropped. Globe shares are down 0.5 percent, while PLDT shares are down 0.53 percent.

The Ayala family and Manny V. Pangilinan head Globe and PLDT, respectively, both of whom have been cursed publicly by the president himself. In May, the two sides made amends when the president issued a public apology to the heads of the two telco giants.

Following the SONA, Globe released a statement “heeding” the call of the president to improve Globe’s service. PLDT and Smart have yet to make a statement.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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