Lapid files bill seeking mandatory roll-over of unused internet data allocation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2020 11:53 PM

MANILA - Sen. Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill to seeking to mandate and institutionalize roll-over data allocation to help Filipinos who rely on the internet during the pandemic.

Lapid on Monday filed Senate Bill 1880 or the "Roll-Over Internet Act", which seeks to require internet service providers (ISPs) to automatically roll-over all unused internet data from packages or promos.

In his explanatory note, Lapid said passing the bill at this time can help Filipinos who have been largely relying on the internet.

"It is therefore imperative that the government enact and implement policies, measures and strategies to address this connectivity problem and provide interventions that will improve our citizens' experience with the quality of services offered by Internet service providers (ISPs), and telecommunications companies operating in our country," he said.

"As one possible intervention towards this goal, this bill seeks to institutionalize a "roll-over data scheme" applicable to all ISPs. Through this scheme, unused data allocation from internet data packages or promos will not expire but will instead carry over to succeeding months until the end of the year. If at the end of the year, there are still remaining unused data allocations, the same will be converted into rebates which. In turn, may be used for future subscriptions. Subscribers will definitely get the full value of the money they have spent in paying for these packages and promo," Lapid added.

Under the bill, all ISPs are required to implement a roll-over data system for their subscribers. The rolled-over data allocation will be prioritized to be consumed in the succeeding month, until the end of the year.

By the end of the year, all unused data may be used and converted as rebates, which in turn can be used as payment for internet service in the succeeding year.

Subscribers who will avail of unlimited internet data packages will not be covered by the bill.

ISPs that will not follow the provisions of the bill, once passed into law, will be required to pay between P300,000 to P1,000,000 in fines.