Press Release
August 4, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said cellular phone bills will go down significantly starting next January with the new six second per pulse billing method adopted by telcos and the government.

Roxas, chairman of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, said this means consumers need not pay higher bills for calls that last less than a minute.

"Natupad na natin ang pangakong gawing mas patas ang ibinabayad natin sa mga telcos (We have fulfilled our promise to make consumer bills to telcos more fair)," said Roxas, chairman of the Senate trade and commerce committee investigating complaints against the country's giant telecommunications firms.

"Ang tagal na nating hinihintay na ibaba ng mga telcos ang halaga ng kanilang mga serbisyo. Ngayon, makakasiguro na tayo na hindi na nila mananakaw ang mga load na hindi naman talaga natin nagagamit (We have long been waiting for these telcos to bring down the prices of their services. Now, we can be sure that they can no longer steal our unused loads)," he added.

The National Telecommunication Commission has issued Memorandum Circular 05-07-2009 mandating a six-second per pulse billing system for Globe Telecoms, Smart Telecommunications and Sun Cellular and their subsidiaries. The telcos have until December this year to upgrade their software and migrate their current billing systems to the new formula.

Under the per-second pulse billing system, the regular minimum call of one minute would now translate to 60 seconds, the cost of which would be much lower compared to the current rate of P6 for network-to-network calls and P8 for network to other network calls. NTC is expected to announce next month the new rates under the new system.

At the same time, the Visayan senator urged the NTC and the telcos to come up with a template that would clearly indicate the costs of services of each of the three giant telcos, such as their flag-down voice call rate, per-pulse rate and per text rate.

"Sama-sama nating bantayan ang pagpapatupad nitong mga bagong guidelines na ito (Let us remain vigilant in ensuring consumer interest)," he said.

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