Mobile phone companies have racked up at least P2 billion in illegal profits for refusing to heed an order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to stop charging an additional 20 centavos on text messages sent to rival providers, according to Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño.
“This is a conservative estimate considering the fact that as the text capital of the world, some 1.5 to 1.8 billion text messages a day are sent in the Philippines. In some of our computations, the overprice even reached five times this amount,” said Casiño in a statement.
Casiño castigated the NTC for having no political will to enforce its order of three months ago and punish the defiant cell phone networks.
“The NTC should stop being inutile and immediately sanction the mobile operators. The government should show these giant companies they can’t simply ignore a lawful order and get away with it. How would the telcos follow the NTC when they know that they can circumvent its orders just like that? Abusers should not be babied, they should be penalized,” said Casiño.
Casiño based his computation on the industry’s figured income on text messages of P200 million per day and estimated that about half of the messages were sent to cross networks.
PLDT group spokesperson Ramon Isberto said “this matter is now under deliberation by the NTC. We maintain our position that the proper charges have been applied with respect to SMS services.”
Yoly Crisanto, Globe spokesperson, said: “Let’s just wait for the decision of the NTC on the matter. It’s best not to say anything at this point.” Gil C. Cabacungan