Press Release
January 21, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. expressed relief for the millions of Filipino cellphone subscribers after the House of Representatives decided to shelve the controversial text tax bill.

"It was a right move of the Lower House to scrap the text tax bill. It would most likely be a dead on arrival bill anyway if it had been transmitted to the Senate. With the prevailing economic crisis, every cent is important to Filipinos," said Revilla, chairman of Senate Committee on Public Services.

Revilla is referring to the admission of the main proponent of the bill that seeks five centavo for every text message that there is no more time for the Lower House to discuss it. Another bill that is aimed to impose excise tax on every short message service and multi-media message service sent through mobile phones was also set aside due to lack of time. It was also reported that the twin bills failed to gather support from most of the congressmen.

The senator stressed that laws should benefit the people and not to add burden to them. "It is a blessing in disguise that the House of Representatives ran out of time to discuss the proposal".

Although he strongly opposed the passing of the bill, Revilla urged the government to pursue the Computer Literacy Program, a project which fund will supposedly come from the collected text tax. "Charging them anew is the least that the public wants, regardless if it will boost the educational program. We can always find ways to strengthen the collection of already existing taxes," Revilla pointed out.

Revilla noted that the government has been consistently pursuing the passing of text tax bill for about seven to eight years. He maintained that he will continuously oppose any move to impose new taxes on texting with the main concern that this will only be passed onto the subscribers.

"If ever the five-centavo text tax will still be pushed next Congress, it must be clear that the telcos will shoulder it. We must see to it that there will be provisions that will safeguard the consumers from additional charges that will be passed on to them," Revilla added.

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