Casiño urges NTC to increase penalty vs overcharging telcos

PARTY list Rep. Teddy Casiño today urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to increase the penalty against recalcitrant telecommunications companies who overcharge their subscribers.

The recent NTC decision ordering telcos to refund overcharging in SMS services revealed that penalties for not following the order amount to only P200 per day, even making it profitable for the telcos to just pay the penalty even as they violate the said order.

“Dapat taasan nang husto ang penalty sa mga telcos dahil napakababa at di man lang papansinin ng mga ito ang ipinataw ng NTC na P200 a day na penalty. Kasing taas lang ng multa para sa jaywalking yun!” said the lawmaker.

The Makabayan senatorial bet, who is author of the proposed Mobile Phone Subscribers Act in Congress, said that the order was long overdue and should have been implemented a year ago and that Congress should now review the franchises of these telecommunications companies to avoid similar incidents and improve their services.

Estimates of the amount to be refunded by Smart Communications, affiliate Sun Cellular and Globe Telecom to their subscribers range from P1.4 billion to as much as P7 billion.

“The telcos can refund subscribers by extra prepaid loads and rebates for those with postpaid. The telcos should also stop threatening us that the unlimited promos would be scrapped due to this decision because as for their records the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the parent firm of Smart and Sun, posted a net income of P28.7 billion in the January to September period. Globe’s net income for the period was at P8.7 billion. This I think is enough profit and it is time to give back to their subscribers,” said Casiño.

“Ibigay na dapat ng mga telcos ang hinihingi ng mga subscribers nila, ito na kumbaga ang pamasko nila sa mga tao,” he said.

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