Lower mobile phone rates for poor, gov’t urged
A senatorial candidate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) called for several measures to bring more efficient and less expensive telecommunications services to consumers.
In a statement, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, an administration candidate for senator, said the government, through the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Telecommunications Commission, should offer what she said were lifeline rates to consumers.
A lifeline rate would be based on consumers’ average data and mobile use, which would benefit poor consumers.
Marcos, who is on the Senate ticket of HNP, a party formed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, said poor users of mobile phones use the internet less frequently and “should not be burdened by high cell phone charges that they did not actually incur.”
She also urged the government to remove value-added tax on telecommunications services and remove interconnection fees between telecommunications firms.
Interconnection fees, Marcos said, eat up into so-called unlimited plans being offered by telecommunications firms.
“Is unli really unlimited?” she said in her statement.
Removing interconnection fees, Marcos added, would also “compel telcos to improve their services.”
She said consumers paid for services that were bad and “end up shortchanged.”
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