Blame lawmakers for lousy internet
Any way you look at it, Congress is to blame for the execrable internet service in the country.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had already pushed for the amendment of antiquated laws that continue to allow telecommunication companies (telcos) to do as they please — which as we all know is to make the lives of Filipinos miserable. Our legislators already know that what’s making our internet service stink is the ridiculous P200 a day penalty for erring public service companies set by the Public Service Act of 1936 and the failure of the Public Telecommunications Act of 1995 to classify internet service as a basic service, thus, putting it beyond the regulatory powers of the NTC.
The trouble with our senators and congressmen is that none of them is really serious about amending these obsolete laws. Just look at Senator Bam Aquino. In the last term, he filed a bill seeking to institute the needed amendments to the Public Service Law giving the NTC teeth in dealing with erring telcos. He was all over the papers urging and proposing this and that course of action to improve internet service but this term, he is mum about the matter. Over in the House of Representatives, after press releases about the filing of bills meant to upgrade internet service, nothing more has been heard about them. Aquino and the sponsor of the parallel bill in the House did not fight tooth and nail to get the important legislations enacted. That is as clear as day.
As expected, bills for this purpose have been filed in both chambers this term but we are about half way through and we have yet to hear of any decisive move to get them passed. It is possible that we have heard the last of them—until they are rehashed and filed in the coming term.
Clearly, when it comes to improvement of internet service, the ball and the buck is in Congress. No one in this country, except them, could do something about the 81-year-old law that renders the government helpless against greedy and abusive telcos. But our legislators are dribbling the ball to kingdom come. They all pay lip service to the necessity of revolutionizing internet service but they all wither before the telcos. Pathetic.
ESTANISLAO ALBANO JR.,
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