Alfredo Panlilio, who succeeded Manuel V. Pangilinan as the president and CEO of PLDT Inc., vowed to promote excellence in three key areas to help the company grow further.
In accepting his appointment as the 6th Filipino CEO of PLDT, Panlilio thanked Pangilinan for “graciously preparing and guiding” him to become the company’s new chief executive.
He admitted that he has “big shoes to fill” given that Pangilinan, who will remain as the company’s chairman, has “set the bar so high.”
Panlilio said he will “build upon” Pangilinan’s “legacy in PLDT.”
This, he said, means the promotion of excellence in three key areas.
“We need to be excellent in three key areas: we need to operate efficiently, we need to continue to innovate, and we need to improve customer experience,” Panlilio said.
To achieve this goal, Panglinan said PLDT has to spend “record-breaking” capital expenditures.
The company is spending between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures this year, as it continues to build its mobile and fixed line networks. The capital expenditures for 2021 include the deployment of 3,800 5G base stations, 4,000 4G base stations, 1.7 million fiber to the home ports, and 125,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables.
“We support what Al said about promoting operational excellence and delivering the kind of global standard for customer experience and care. We do need as a core requirement an excellent network and proof of that is the rapid build out of 5G,” he said.
As of May, Smart Communications Inc. has fired up more than 3,000 5G sites across the country.
Panlilio added that the aggressive push for 5G is part of the company’s efforts to win against its competitors. He noted, however, that the benchmark that his group uses is not based on local numbers, but on international standards.
“We benchmark ourselves against regional telcos, not local competition. We feel that’s what is deserving of Filipinos—a service that is world class. We are wary of what our competition is doing. But, at the end of the day, it’s going to be the strength of the service and experience that will win in the market,” he said.
Pangilinan noted that his group is hopeful of monetizing its investments in 5G “sooner rather than later.”
“Part of the revenue improvement we’ve seen in the past few years is the migration from 3G to 4G and we’d like to see further improvement in our revenue as a consequence of the migration from 4G to 5G, which I hope Al can accomplish sooner rather than later.”
PLDT booked a telco core income of P7.5 billion in the first quarter, a 9-percent improvement from the P6.9 billion registered the year prior. This, as service revenues grew by 8 percent to P44.8 billion from P41.5 billion, mainly driven by its wireless business.
The company aims to end the year with a telco core income of P29 billion.