Solon files “Cell Phone Subscriber Protection Act of 2012”

A LAWMAKER has filed a bill seeking to establish minimum quality standards for wireless telephone service.

Under House Bill 6467, authored by Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito (Lone District, San Juan City), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is mandated to establish such requirements as the Commission considers appropriate to ensure that Public Telecommunications Entities meet minimum standards regarding the quality and performance of such service, which includes standards regarding connection, reception and billing practices.

In filing the bill, Ejercito cited Article II, Section 24 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation building.

“With the advent of mobile and cellular phones in the early 1980s, ,people made and received telephone calls without being tied to a specific location.  This technological innovation made all transactions easy, faster and affordable,” Ejercito said.

According to Ejercito, mobile and cellular phones have become an essential part of many Filipinos lives with the number of mobile phone users increasing daily.

“However, cellular phone companies have failed to cope with the increasing demand for cellular phone services and the NTC has received numerous complaints on poor and sometimes fraudulent services of these companies,” Ejercito added.

Under the proposed “Cell Phone Subscriber Protection Act of 2012,” the NTC is directed to establish and administer a system that makes available a procedure for any subscriber of a commercial mobile service to register a complaint regarding the quality or performance of the service.

The system shall include the provision of a toll-free number applicable to commercial mobile services for reporting a complaint.

The Commission shall maintain a record of each complaint made under the system.

Under the bill, the Commission shall require each Public Telecommunications Entity of commercial mobile service to include, in each subscriber’s bill for such service, a statement informing the subscriber that a complaint regarding the quality or performance of the service may be registered with the Commission and providing the toll-free number and an address for mailing a complaint.

The Commission is directed to take other actions as may be appropriate to publicize the availability of the complaint system to subscribers of commercial mobile services.

Also, the Commission is mandated to submit every six months, a report to Congress regarding complaints received under the complaint system, indicating the number of complaints received, during the period for which the report is made regarding the service of the Public Telecommunications Entity for which a complaint is made.

Furthermore, the report shall indicate the types of complaints received during such period, regarding dead spots, dropped calls, network busy signals, and improper billing practices and the number of each type of compliant received during such period.

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