Tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan had previously announced his plan to relinquish the top position in PLDT Inc., the country’s largest integrated telecommunications firm.
But when will he ever be ready to leave the post? The PLDT chair and CEO said: “The time is soon”.
During the PLDT’s quarterly briefing on Thursday, Pangilinan bared that he might push through with the plan, which had been announced in the previous years, once the company starts generating a stable income.
“I do intend to relinquish the (position)… Whatever it is… There’s always a time to give up, and I think the time is soon. Don’t worry, I will keep my word,” Pangilinan told reporters.
Pangilinan, however, did not disclose further details as to when he will step down.
“Power corrupts. No, I’m not. I want to prove to the world that I’m not the type who would cling to power… No, I’m not the type who would do that,” he said.
In 2019, Pangilinan disclosed that he will appoint a successor once company revenues and profitability are in steady growth.
Last year, despite the presence of the Covid-19 pandemic that upended the global market, PLDT still managed to grow its net income by 8 percent to P24.3 billion. Its revenues were record-high at P171.5 billion.
To support its aggressive network build-up and sustain growth, PLDT has set a capital expenditure of around P88 billion to P92 billion this year.
It will be allocated for 5G rollout in over 3,000 base transceiver stations (BTS), over 4,000 4G BTS, over 1.7 million fiber to the home ports, and 125,000 kilometers of fiber.
Meanwhile, amid the much-awaited market debut of newcomer DITO Telecommunity Corp., PLDT remains unfazed.
In the same briefing, Smart Communications Next Generation Technology Solutions Advisor Joachim Horn contended that “it will a long time” before DITO breaks the telco duopoly.
“We cannot comment on what DITO is doing, but what I can tell you is as far as we have information in the areas DITO is launching, they cannot (get) even close on the coverage we have already,” Horn said.
“So, therefore, they will take a long time to catch up, even in remote areas because it’s not easy to roll out a network in no time,” he added.
Currently, DITO said it had built over 1,900 cell sites, that can cover 37 percent of the population.
To date, rivals PLDT and Globe Telecom Inc. had built a network of more than 16,000 cell sites.