Bayan Muna urges NTC to intervene in telco refund

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2014 03:22 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2014 12:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate have filed a motion for intervention at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to compel the commission to implement its refund order against Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular.

According to the party-list representatives, the NTC should have insisted on the implementation of the refund despite an appeal to the Court of Appeals filed by the telcos.

Colmenares said under the rules of court, an order can be implemented once it becomes final and there's no temporary restraining order issued by the court.

The refund stems from a decision of the NTC to cut the interconnection charge between competing networks which should have resulted to lower regular text message or SMS rate from P1 to P0.80 per message.

In their defense, the telcos have claimed that there is no need to bring down the charge for regular text as their promos and bucket text prices have brought down the price per text to even less than P0.50 per message.

Meanwhile, NTC legal head Atty. Dennis Babaran said his office will have to study the motion filed by the two legislators.

Babaran admits, however, that the NTC cannot immediately implement the refund order as the telcos have already elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals.

Babaran added that the NTC could be cited for contempt if it pushes through with the order upon the prodding of the militant lawmakers. Based on estimates, the refund amount has already reached around P7 billion.