The Commission on Audit (COA) has released a damning report on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its atrocious record in resolving legal disputes and consumer complaints, according to online news site Politiko.
The audit report came just a few days after the COA issued a report severely criticizing the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for its dismal implementation of the government’s free WiFi program.
Politiko said the COA’s indictment could finally push Malacanang to replace the “incompetent” NTC commissioner, Gamaliel Cordoba, who has managed to cling to his post over the last three administrations.
Cordoba, an alumnus of Ateneo de Manila University School of Law and member of the Utopia fraternity, was appointed as NTC chief during the administration of former President and now House speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In its story, Politiko said COA’s annual audit report noted that under Cordoba, NTC disposed only 312 cases out of the 2,412 cases in the last decade.
“The number of outstanding cases have quadrupled from 674 before his appointment by Macapagal-Arroyo in 2008 to 2,412 cases in the second year of President Rodrigo Duterte. During this span, Cordoba disposed an average of 30 cases per year out of 200 cases received per year,” Politiko reported.
Aside from piling up a huge backlog of cases, the COA report said Cordoba was also remiss in his duty to conduct annual inspections of television and radio stations.
“From 2015 to 2017, Cordoba only inspected 57 percent of the 60 stations. COA said in the few stations that NTC managed to inspect, the reports were delayed by up to 250 days,” the Politiko report said.
The online site said Cordoba’s performance in 2017 is one for the books.
“COA said only six percent or nine cases out of 154 complaints forwarded during the year were acted on. NTC even had the gall to target the resolution of 1,670 to 1,800 cases every year from 2015 to 2017. True to form, NTC only managed to accomplish less than one percent of its target for each year. COA said NTC mindlessly set the targets without considering the massive backlog,” the story said.
COA urged the NTC to shape up by cleaning up its backlog, intensify its collection of fines to boost revenues, and order its lawyers to regularly send demand letters to telcos and broadcast firms.