President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not think twice on shutting down the business of PLDT Inc. if it fails to improve the government’s anti-graft hotline.
While in Cebu, the President mentioned his efforts in fighting corruption in the government. Part of the President’s campaign is the establishment of a anti-graft trunkline, where the public can easily report any acts of corruptions and complaints from any government agency by simply calling 8888.
However, Duterte complained that the 8888 hotline isn’t accessible because it’s always busy. He instructed former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go to add another trunk line. The President said, “If you see corruption, tell me. Call 8888. Bong, add another trunk line. The present setup can’t accommodate all the calls. It’s always busy.”
Duterte continued that if not, he will not hesitate in stopping the telecommunication giant’s business. He said, “Tell PLDT. If not, I’ll shut down their business.”
The President added that the PLDT still owed the government money and he is very willing to ask for it in time. He said, “Oo, that’s true. I don’t want to brag, but they owe government eight billion [pesos]. No President has ever asked for payment. But when I became President, I said…”
Meanwhile, PLDT has issued a statement that they are now working at improving their services. Following the President’s remarks, PLDT spokesman Ramon Isberto said, “We are currently taking steps to address the concern expressed by the President to improve the public’s access to the Citizen’s Complaint Center 8888 hotline number.”
The 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Hotline was launched in August 2016. It is a 24-hour national citizens’ complaint hotline. Complaints will be referred for immediate action to concerned agencies, which are expected to respond within five working days.