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Texters to NTC: Don't let Telcos rob us as Napoles did!


Texters and network subscribers trooped to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to demand the agency to compel network providers Smart, Globe and Sun to return the running P7.6 Billon it owes its consumers.

“NTC should impose stricter penalties and sanctions to telcos for their stubborn refusal to refund the P7.63B overcharging on sms,” said Mr. Mac Yanto of the consumer group, TxtPower.

On December 2011, NTC has set the interconnection charge for SMS between different networks to be not higher than  Php .15 per SMS, making the total SMS (short messaging service) charge .80 centavos instead of P1. The penalty for non-compliance is P200 per day.

Txtpower has set up an online SMS refund tracker based on the price set by NTC. As of July 11, 2014, the Telcos owe as much as P7.6B and is increasing every text message sent.

“By the end of this year, this refund would amount to P9B and would be of the equal to Napoles scam by May next. Napoles scammed us for 10 years to get P10B while these telcos is also robbing us of same amount in about 3 years!”

For almost 3 years, NTC has repeatedly reminded the telecommunications companies (telcos) to lower down rates and return the overcharges to the subscribers but the telcos have adamantly refused.

Telcos has been delaying the refund through various motion of reconsideration at the National Telecommunications Communications (NTC) and Court of Appeals.

“Telcos are arguing that it would be difficult to track who to give the refund, why not just give everyone a refund? We demand an immediate refund of P89 per SIM cardholder on all networks,” said Yanto.

Telcos pocketed P71.9 B in revenues last year from sms services alone. “Almost 11% of these revenues were directly robbed from us by stubbornly refusing to lower the current ams rate of P1 to P.80.”

"The NTC, as the sole government agency mandated to protect consumers cannot wash its hands and hide on arguments that it is a deregulated industry and they lack powers to impose their own memorandums. NTC must impose harsher penalties for telcos' refusal to refund,” explained Mr. Yanto.

“It can not be denied that SMS is already part and parcel on the way we communicate. It should be a public service. For more than 106M users, lowering the cost of sms to P.80 means additional 85 SMS for every 100 load credit,” said Mr. Yanto.

"If this issue is left unresolved, this would be another case of the government agency allowing scammers and robbers to directly steal from the people," ended Yanto.

TxtPower has been active since 2001 on issues related to monopoly of telco services. It first opposed the free text cut in 2002.

Source: TxtPower

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