Senator Nancy Binay called for an investigation into the P50 being charged to subscribers by some telecommunication companies (telcos) for declining to go paperless.
“Why not provide incentives to subscribers who agree to go paperless instead of punishing those who refuse? Did these telcos think of the senior citizens and people living in areas where there is no reliable internet connection when they decided to push this new billing system?” Binay asked.
The legislator has filed Senate Resolution No. 521 which called for an investigation into the additional P50 being charged by Globe Telecommunications Incorporated and PLDT Incorporated to subscribers who refused to go paperless.
“Mas mainam na hikayatin nila ang kanilang mga subscribers sa pamamagitan ng insentibo o promo para pumayag ang mga ito sa paperless billing system na ito. Ngunit para sa ilang hindi naman techie at wala namang access sa maayos na internet connection, sadyang hindi po ito makatarungan,” said the lawmaker.
Globe Telecom transitioned from its traditional paper billing to paperless or digital billing in September 2016 while PLDT Inc. started charging an additional P50 to its new subscribers as of July 8, 2017 who refused to go paperless.
The senator maintained that the additional charge for the paper billing Globe postpaid and PLDT subscribers were not in accordance with Republic Act No. 7394 otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines which states that it is the duty of the State to “protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.”
She also sought an explanation from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as to why it approved the additional charge for the paperless billing scheme. The NTC’s mandate is to regulate and supervise the provision of the public telecommunications services under Republic Act No. 7925 or the Public Telecommunications Act of the Philippines.
“Kung mayroong mahigit 4 milyong postpaid subscribers ang isang telco at kalahati nito ay nais pa rin ang tradisyunal na paper billing, aabot sa P100 milyon buwan-buwan ang dagdag kita ng mga kumpanyang ito,” Binay said.
“Bakit pinayagan ng NTC ang ganitong sistema? At bakit kailangang pasanin ito ng mga subscriber?” she asked.