Probe on NTC sought for Globe-Bayan deal

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[/caption] Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao (4th District, Isabela) also urged the House Committee on Legislative Franchises to determine if such action is disadvantageous to the government. In filing House Resolution No. 2856, Aggabao said the NTC’s decision to allow the co-use of Bayan’s frequencies by Globe instead of recalling them and bidding out as per NTC’s own rules and regulations, and in cognizance of the terms and conditions of the franchise of Bayan, is tantamount to NTC’s abuse of authority. “It spells out enormous loss of the much needed revenues for the government’s coffer which could have been generated if the said frequencies were bidded out,” Aggabao said. He said NTC allowed Globe and Bayantel to jointly use the 1800MHz band frequencies assigned to Bayantel, currently under rehabilitation and has not been used for more than a year. The NTC also allowed PLDT-owned Smart Communications to co-use the frequencies assigned to its sister firm Smart Broadband Inc. (SBI) and Digitel Mobile Philippines (Digitel), Aggabao said. Aggabao said telephone companies may have violated the terms and conditions of its franchise by not using its frequencies for more than a year and by not having operated its cellular mobile telephone system (CMTS) continuously. However, under the rules and regulations of the NTC, its course of action is to recall frequencies and bid them out among interested and qualified applicants in an open and competitive bidding process. Under NTC Memorandum Circular 3-3-96 on the Review Allocation and Assignment of Radio Spectrum, an assigned frequency which remains unused for one year from date issuance of permits and license may be recalled consistent with national interest and public service. Despite the non-use of Bayantel of its frequencies, Aggabao said the NTC apparently did not properly observe its mandate to oversee the performance even before its rehabilitation, and failed to make appropriate action, with due process, to recall these frequencies. “The NTC is mandated by Republic Act No. 7925 or the ‘Public Communications Policy Act of 1995’ to ensure the effective and efficient use of radio frequencies to meet public demand for telecommunication service,” Aggabao said, adding that the NTC is confronted to resolve the rising incidence of mobile telecommunications complaints on blocked calls or grade of service, dropped, calls and signal quality. ]]>

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