A business group warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning against telcos would likely scare off foreign investors, leading to loss of trade and foreign investments.

“The warning to possibly nationalize major utilities in which there are billions of dollars owned by foreign investors could harm the external opinion of the country’s investment climate stability,” said the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) Senior Adviser John Forbes. Forbes added that foreign investors might view the country as an investment risk due to Duterte’s threats.

The president called out telco giants PLDT and Globe in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) for their “lousy services,” threatening to shut them down if they failed to improve their services by December. The telcos promised to hasten their network expansion but pointed out that they would need the government’s support due to the issue of red tape at the LGU level.

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