A LEGISLATOR has filed a bill which seeks to expand the power of the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) to impose fines and sanctions on the telecommunications industry.
Representative Michael L. Romero of the 1-Pacman Party-list filed House Bill No. 4886, aiming to give NTC the power to punish violations of Republic Act 7925 or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines.
“My bill amends RA 7925 with a whole set of law enforcement teeth because the 1995 law does not have penalty provisions and no means to hold erring entities and people liable for wrongdoing and not doing when they should have acted decisively,” Mr. Romero said in a statement.
Mr. Romero said one particular issue where enforcement capacity is needed is spectrum allocation.
He cited an NTC report citing the regulator’s inability to consolidate unused or unpaid-for frequency held by government agencies and the private sector.
“We have only three major telecom players and dozens of bit players. We have a number of unused spectrum frequencies. The spectrum policy has been described by some experts as ‘a mess’. The country has thousands of telecom dead spots nationwide,” he said.
The bill requires the government to allocate the spectrum to service providers who will use it efficiently and effectively to meet public demand, and the establishment of fair and reasonable tariff structures.
The proposed amendment provides for a fine of up to P1 million for violations of the act. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras