NTC acts on PGMA directive, bars spam texts by telcos

July 8, 2009 9:44 am 

MANILA, July 8 — Five days after the telecommunication companies were mandated to extend the validity of mobile phone load credits, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a memorandum circular Wednesday barring broadcast messages or text spam without the consent of the subscriber.

The NTC’s Memorandum Circular 04-07-2009, which amends Memorandum Circular 03-03-2005A on the rules and regulations on broadcast messaging service, is in response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s directive to protect mobile phone subscribers.

NTC Commissioner Ruel Canobas signed the new circular together with Deputy Commissioners Jaime M. Fortes Jr. and Douglas Michael Mallillin.

Among the new guidelines is the barring of push messages sent to consumers without their consent or active subscription.

It also includes promotional advertisement, surveys and other forms of offerings which are the subject of complaints from consumers who are charged for such services.

Under the new guidelines, subscribers (of all telcos) must first request their network providers with a particular service either through correspondence, text, Internet, or similar means of communication.

All contents and information charged with a fee must be delivered only after being requested and public telecommunication entities (PTEs) are required to keep a record of these requests for a period of at least two months or, in case of being a subject of complaint, until the case has been resolved.

It also stated that “violation of any of the provision of this new circular shall be ground for the revocation, or cancellation of registration as contents or information provider and/or the imposition of fines in accordance with law.”

The Circular will take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper with general circulation.

Earlier, NTC Commissioner Canobas admitted that the present maximum fine per violation, under Commonwealth Act 146, is very minimal (P200 per day) but they are hoping that it would be amended by Congress soon.

On June 11, the President issued Administrative Order 266 ordering the NTC to conduct a thorough investigation on the disappearing load and opting-in services by the telcos. (PNA) LDV/OPS/ssc

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