Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, will create a Technical Working Group to study the proposed measure to remove the expiration of all cellphone load.
During yesterday’s hearing on proposed measures proposals for a non-expiry prepaid load and registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, Poe cited the need to study the details of removing the load expiration and to listen to the sides of telcos.
Telco representatives told the Senate hearing that expiration of load is needed due to their additional carrying cost. They also cited the difficulties to be encountered by their database.
At present, the expiration of load is one year.
“It will hit your bottom line. I remind the telco if you don’t suggest something that is practical and easily implemented, eventually it might be difficult for you and may not be commercially viable so help us draft this committee report,” she said.
The National Telecommunications aired its support to get rid of the expiration of load.
NTC Deputy Commissioner EDUARDO CABARIOS said it is their view that as the number of subscribers increases, that cost is decreased.
“And it is not the same as wire. Ang wired ho kasi, the line is dedicated to you so there is carrying cost but in the mobile, there is none because there is no line dedicated to you,” he said.
Sen. Imee Marcos asked NTC officials to explain the need for a prepaid expiry load in mobile phones and how much load had expired in the last two years.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri said SIM cards have become necessity for most people, almost as important as having actually identification cards, to communicate, to access the internet, to run cashless transactions, among others. “SIM cards have undeniably made our lives easier. With all this ease comes risks,” Zubiri also said.
In pushing for the registration of SIM cards, said what had happened to Sen. Win Gatchalian, when he lost around P1 million early this year, happens daily to many Filipinos around the country.
“The anonymity provided by unregistered SIM cards has allowed many criminals of all shades the protection they need in order to commit their crimes,” he said.
“There is a whole host of illegal activities that we will be able to address with our SIM card registration law. So I fervently hope and pray that we can fast track this bill, and protect our SIM card-using public as soon as possible,” Zubiri added.