ABS-CBN News

NTC stands firm on P0.20 refund per SMS

Posted at | Updated as of 05/08/14 5:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has stood firm in its decision ordering Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom Inc. to refund its customers the overcharged amount for text messages over the past two years.
 
In its order released Wednesday, the NTC denied the motions for reconsideration filed by PLDT’s Smart Communications Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. and Globe seeking to reverse NTC’s order on the rollback of short messaging service (SMS) rates to P0.80 from P1.

NTC ruled that “the commission finds no congent or compelling reason to disturb its previous order which clearly explained the basis for this ruling.”

The telecommunication firms, however, can still take the case to the Court of Appeals (CA).

Edgardo Cabarios, director for Common Carriers Authorization at NTC, said Wednesday’s order compels Smart, Globe, and Sun Cellular to comply with the Interconnection Charge for SMS (Memorandum Circular 02-10-2011) that took effect on December 2011.
 
Because the telecom firms failed to immediately comply with the 2011 order, it may cost them billions of pesos, Cabarios said.
 
He noted that the order only covers off-net SMS as well as regular text messages not covered by promos.
 
He added that telco providers can credit the prepaid load of prepaid subscribers and implement the refund through the subscriber billing for postpaid subscribers.
 
PLDT Group spokesperson Ramon Isberto said the firm has yet to receive an official copy of the NTC decision.
 
“We have not received a copy of the decision but we will issue a statement after we have studied it,” Isberto said.

Globe likewise said it has yet to receive an official copy of the NTC resolution.

“The company will evaluate the legal merits of the said resolution with due consideration for the interest of its subscribers. Globe will continue to provide quality service and superior experience to its subscribers,” the company said.

PLDT and Globe were previously directed to refund or reimburse their subscribers the excess charge of P0.20 per off-net SMS or text messages sent from one network to another network from the effectivity of the circular until fully settled.