By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Councilor Caesar Distrito recently expressed his support for the Senate inquiry on missing and expiring prepaid mobile phone load.
In a message sent by Distrito to Watchmen Daily Journal, he said, “Telecommunication companies should be honest enough to give what is due to their subscribers – up to the last centavo.”
He also noted, many prepaid subscribers are “poor” and the call is necessary in order to push through legislation intended to deter telecommunication companies from imposing additional burdens onto their customers.
The city councilor also characterized the business practices of the said companies as “unfair and dishonest.”
The issue is being highlighted by Senator Grace Poe in response to complaints from consumers and in reference to Senate Bill 848, the proposed Prepaid Load Protection Act. The hearing is set to begin today at 11:00 a.m., with representatives from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), telecommunication companies Globe and Smart, and various consumer groups expected to attend.
The said bill seeks to impose fines up to P1 million on telecommunication companies, along with revocation of licenses, if an expiration period on prepaid mobile phone load is imposed, load credits on an active prepaid phone account are forfeited, and if companies refuse to issue prepaid subscribers refunds if their credits were forfeited without valid cause./WDJ