Press Release
May 9, 2007

Recto bats for removal of long-distance rates
for Metro Manila calls to neighboring provinces

Senator Ralph Recto today said that long-distance charges on phone calls from Metro Manila to adjoining Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal towns should be removed.

"These areas comprise a territory that can be considered as Mega-Manila. Las Pinas is closer to Imus than Fairview, and Valenzuela is closer to Bulacan than to Las Pinas but calls within Metro Manila are not charged with long distance rates while calls outside are," Recto explained.

"There should be no long-distance rates when there really is no long distance. What's happening is a case of closeness tugging people apart, in a way," he continued.

Recto suggested as an initial remedy the graduated removal of long distance charges in selected areas this year, saying that high earnings of the telecommunications companies make this possible.

Recto cited Cebu as an example saying that, "in Cebu there is no long-distance rate charge for intra-island calls."

Among the areas he suggested that calls from and to Metro Manila should not be charged with long distance rates are Imus, Bacoor, Cavite City and Dasmarinas in Cavite.

In Bulacan, he suggested Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Malolos and San Jose del Monte.

For Laguna, he mentioned San Pedro, Binan, Cabuyao and Calamba.

"The proximity of Metro Manila to these areas have removed the basis for long-distance charges," the senator said.

Recto also pointed out that the rates in cellular phones are the same wherever the call is made within the country, and that it can also be done, but gradually, with what is commonly referred today as "landlines."

"Provinces are the new suburbs. Urban sprawl has reached once far-flung areas. Once the expansion cost in rolling out landline phone network has been recouped, and after profiting from it, the long-distance charges can be lifted," Recto ended.

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