Imee Marcos urges gov’t to lower text rate to one centavo
MANILA, Philippines— Senator Imee Marcos wants the government to reduce the cost of text messaging services from the “exorbitant” standard P1.00 to only one centavo per text message.
In Senate Resolution No. 7 filed Wednesday, Marcos strongly urged the Department of Information and Communications and Technology (DICT) to direct the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to immediately reduce the cost and establish a “strict price ceiling for text messaging services.”
The resolution noted that for decades, the standard price of a 160-character text message for Globe and Smart subscribers has been P1.00, which, it said, translates into huge profits for the two giant telecommunication firms.
A comparison of the price of a text message with the price of a byte data for data services of the two firms, it said, would show that they could sell data services for as low as P0.05 or five centavos per megabyte of data and “still earn profits.”
“The numbers suggest that the cost of a 160-byte text message is not even an easily perceptible fraction of a centavo (not more than one centavo) given the scaling from byte to kilobyte to megabyte and, thus, the standard price of P1.00 per text message is clearly exorbitant,” Marcos’ resolution read.
“There is an urgent need to lay the foundation for the development of package of drastic reforms focused on the SMS portion of the telecom industry to dramatically reduce the current exorbitant cost of text messaging services as proposed in this resolution, and foremost of these reforms would be the establishment of a strict price ceiling for text messages, the overhaul of pricing structures governing unlimited text packages and the elimination of cross-provider text messaging costs,” it added.
Marcos said reducing the cost of text messaging services and the establishment of a strict rice ceiling for such services would benefit many people, especially those with limited incomes and relying on text messaging for their small-scale businesses.
“Now, therefore be it resolved as it is hereby resolved to strongly urge and demand that the DICT direct the NTC to immediately reduce the cost of text messaging services to not more than P0.01 or one centavo per text message and establish a strict price ceiling for such services,” concluded the resolution.
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