Great news for mobile phone users all over the Philippines! The NTC has sent a memorandum ruling that telcos lower their call and text charges.
Once the memorandum takes effect, the Philippines will rank as the third nation with the lowest interconnection charges.
Expect to see lower call and text charges pretty soon
NTC reduces interconnection charges for calls, text messages. For calls, P2.50/min rate is reduced to 50 centavos/min. For text, 15 centavos/text rate is reduced to 5 centavos. @gmanews pic.twitter.com/vwgTKZ4RSH— Tina PanganibanPerez (@tinapperez) July 19, 2018
The memorandum stated that the rates for calls will be lowered to P0.50 per minute and texts will be lowered to P0.05 per text. Previous call and text charges were at P2.50 per minute, and P0.15 per text message.
The NTC order will take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation. Telcos are expected to implement the lower rates within 20 days of the order taking effect.
NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios shared that the telcos didn’t object to the reduction of charges.
However, he said that for voice calls, “wala silang objection sa pagbaba. Yun nga lang, nag-propose sila ng two years glide path.”
The NTC rejected their proposal and insisted on the lower charges.
Cabarios added that the primary goal is to help the C, D, and E class. “Karamihan dito ay mga nasa class lower C, D, E class, economic class. So sila dapat ang tulungan,” he quipped.
How is it going to impact Filipinos?
At the moment, there are 130 million SIM cards in the country. By comparison, the Philippine population back in 2016 was about 1.3 million. That means that a lot of Filipinos have access to mobile devices and use it to communicate on a daily basis.
But these days, a lot of people use apps such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, and Whatsapp in lieu of regular calls and texts. In fact, the Philippines has one of the lowest mobile data costs in Asia at around 5 pesos per megabyte.
Some users also take advantage of the Free Facebook service in order to send messages for free through the platform.
However, 20-30% of Filipinos still rely on 2g and 3g service, which means that they don’t have good access to mobile data.
The lower call and text charges is a blessing to most Filipinos who earn minimum wage and below. This means that they have to spend less money on buying prepaid cards to load up their phones.
With the cost of goods and transportation constantly going up, the lower cost on cellphone calls and texts is a welcome change for Filipinos.
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