December 4, 2011
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today called on the telecommunications companies (telcos) in the country to return or refund an estimated P92.5 million which is the total amount in five days of the 20 centavos reduction in the interconnection charge for text messages which they have refused to implement.
He said data extrapolated from the latest financial reports provided by the telcos themselves reveal a gross income of at least P185 million per day from text messaging services. Assuming half of the text messages are between telcos and subject to interconnection fees, the 20-centavo reduction in said fees would mean the telcos have been overcharging their consumers by P18.5 million per day, or a total of P92.5 million for the five days that the NTC order remains unimplemented.
“This is a conservative estimate considering the fact that as 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.
“The telcos should immediately comply because this amount increases by the day and consumers deserve this break considering that SMS messaging should be free in the first place. The telcos should not force us to call them into an investigation in Congress or revoke their franchises,” he added.
Casiño also expressed dismay at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for not sanctioning the country’s telecommunications companies for ignoring the commission’s order to lower rates for text messages.
“The NTC should stop being inutile and immediately sanction mobile operators who failed to comply with its order to reduce interconnection fees for text messaging. 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? Ang mga abusado hindi bineneybi, pnaparusahan,” Casiño ended. #