THE news that Department of Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. ordered the National Telecommunications Commission to lower interconnection rates, which would lead to lower text messaging and mobile phone call charges, sounds good news, but it’s not. Why? Because it revealed the shocking fact that NTC is behind the high call and text charges and worst, it did nothing to lower the rates until Rio came into the scene. Had President Duterte not appointed Rio, the NTC would still be sleeping on its job and forgetting that it should lower interconnection rates for the benefit of mobile users.
NTC is headed by Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba. He should have been the one who lowered interconnection charges a long time ago. By not doing so, he caused damage to the public in terms of high mobile load spending, allowed the telcos to profit at the expense of the public, and somehow perpetrated incompetence and negligence in public service that victimized consumers.
Rio has other unfinished business with telcos. He should enforce the one-year expiration for prepaid load worth less than P300 before the six-month deadline he gave to telcos to do so. Six months is a very long time for telcos to implement the 1-year load expiration. They have the technology and knowhow to adjust their system in short notice. In fact, load should have no expiration like gift checks because they are already paid by users.