Many people expressed confusion over President Arroyo's announcement during her State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday that the cost of one text message would be lowered to P0.50, as telecommunication companies' advertisments showed the rate is only part of promotional activities.
Those who heard the announcement of the President during the SONA were elated and went on to send as many text messages as they could, only to get disappointed when they found out the charges did not change at all.
Telecom companies Sun Cellular, Globe Telecoms, and Smart Communications, in newspaper advertisements released Monday, showed the cheaper SMS charge is just a three-month promo and that subscribers have to take certain steps before they could avail of it.
The telcos insisted though they have been very clear with their mechanics in their print ads.
Sun Celluar, for example, indicated in their ad that their subscribers will have to register and load or pass on P20 worth of load before they can avail of the cheaper SMS charge. Other telecom companies will also implement similar mechanics.
Subscribers will also be able to avail of only up to P20 of cheaper SMS charges, equivalent to forty text messages to other networks.
Only prepaid subscribers are also covered by the promo.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) clarified though that they do intend to make the cheaper SMS charge permanent by putting a cap on service charges for inter-network messaging.
However, this proposal is still undergoing hearings and consultations, said NTC Commissioner Ruben Canobas.
Telecom companies also argued the government should allow the industry to decide the charge that they would like to impose on their services, instead of the government dictating their price. With a report from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News