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News Release
May 8, 2014
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, 09178!04!9
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Says telcos should pay interest for damages incurred by subscribers

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today called on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to order the
telecommunications companies (telcos) to include interest payments in the telcos refund to consumers, and increase the fine
on telcos who refused to implement the NTC decision to lower SMS rates y !".#" centa$os per SMS since #"%%. &e also
called on the &ouse of Representati$es to prioriti'e the passa(e of &ouse Bill %))* to protect consumers from further
o$erchar(in( y (reedy telcos.

+This refund is a result of the $i(ilance and $arious protests y the pulic since #"%%, ut we ha$e to press our demands
further to preempt further delay in the refund. ,e call on the NTC to strictly impose its order for immediate refund. -side
from the !).. illion refund, the telcos should also e ordered to pay le(al interest of at least !/.0 million to the
suscriers. -fter all the telcos earned hundreds of millions in interest for 1ust depositin( the o$erchar(ed illions in an2s,3
said Rep. Colmenares.

+The NTC should also increase its !#"" per day fine to !#","""4day as this is peanuts for the telcos. The fine must e in an
amount that would teach these telcos a lesson not to un1ustly o$erchar(e suscriers to increase their already super5
profits. The telcos made e6tra profit of at least !0 million per day in the last two years and the !#""4day fine is a mere slap in
the wrist for them. The fine must e included in the refund suscriers instead of (oin( to the NTC since it is the pulic who
suffered in1ury and not the (o$ernment,3 he added.

The pro(ressi$e solon made the call as the NTC ordered the -yala5led 7loe Telecom and !hilippine 8on( 9istance
Telephone Co. (!89T) units, Smart Communications and 9i(ital Moile !hil. (Sun Cellular) to slash their short messa(e
ser$ice (SMS) rate to +other networ2s3 to 0" centa$os from !%. This !.#" centa$os reduction stems from their Memorandum
Circular no. "#5%"5#"%%.

+,e also call on Spea2er Sonny Belmonte of the &ouse of Representati$es to prioriti'e &ouse Bill %))* which aims to
re(ulate telco rates, re:uire detailed illin( of prepaid credits and other ser$ice impro$ements to protect suscriers from
another o$erchar(e y (reedy telcos3 said the senior deputy minority leader.

+;ts aout time we aandon the dere(ulation policy of (o$ernment and protect the peoples interest a(ainst rapacious
corporations,3 he said.

&ouse Bill %))* titled <-n -ct !romotin( the Ri(hts of Moile !hone Suscriers y Re(ulatin( !rices, Re:uirin(
Telecommunication Ser$ice Companies to pro$ide 9etailed Billin( of !repaid Credits, Numer !ortaility, 8owered !ulse
Rate and =ther Ser$ice ;mpro$ements3 was filed on >uly #/, #"%/ ut has not een tac2led y Con(ress. ;t can e
rememered that Bayan Muna alon( with T6tpower led the campai(n to ha$e the SMS rates reduced when the order was
issued in #"%% ut the NTC treated the telcos with 2id (lo$es and waited for more than two years to rule with finality.

+The refund and the payment for dama(es should immediately e implemented y addin( credit to the prepaid load of
prepaid suscriers and implement the refund throu(h the suscrier illin( for postpaid suscriers. There can also e a
mechanism for a cash refund if the suscriers demand it,3 Rep. Colmenares said. ???