NTC and KBP Pushes on Cracking Down Illegal Radio Stations in PH

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the National Telecommunications Communication (NTC) are helping each other in fighting the expected surge of illegal broadcast stations across the country in view of the coming midterm elections.

“This is year 2018 and there’s usually a proliferation of illegal broadcast stations leading to election day in May next year,” said Erwin V. Galang, head of the technical committee and trustee of the KBP.

Majority of the administrative cases the NTC handles under its mandate are cease and desist and show cause orders against illegal broadcast stations, and according to Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, the NTC’s previous cooperation and coordination with the KBP has led to the crackdown of fly-by-night broadcast stations, mostly in the provinces, who had victimized unsuspecting candidates to buy airtime for their political advertisements. These illegal broadcasters usually disappear after they received payment for the political ads.

Historically, we can see a steep increase in the number of cases in broadcast services in relation to unlicensed broadcasts leading to the election campaign period. What we do is we immediately issue cease-and-desist and show-cause orders against these illegal operators, forcing them to shut down their stations, while others simply disappear,” Cabarios said.

In the 2017 report by the Commission on Audit (COA, majority of the cases were administrative complaints initiated by NTC for violations of erring radio stations with almost 2,054 cases in the broadcast services division.

According to Auditor Ma. Jocelyn Factora, COA’s 2017 resident auditor in the NTC, majority of the pending administrative cases represented cases filed by NTC against illegal broadcast stations, and not cases from telco consumers. “The pending telco-related cases from consumers are very minimal.”

As of 31 December 2017, there are only 148 telco consumer cases pending before the NTC’s Legal Office which are now subject of review and resolution.

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Sun Life Tri-team In Ironman 70.3 Race

The Sun Life Financial Philippines Triathlon will be marking its 5th year by participating in Ironman 70.3 in Cebu on August 5 fielding a total of 13 racers/athletes in the prestigious competition, led by brand ambassador Piolo Pascual, actor Enchong Dee, and its very own executives.

Piolo, who will bike for one of the relay teams, will once again team up with Enchong doing the swimming and his long time friend, athlete Toniel Ty completing the race in the running field.

Sun Life Chief Investments Officer Michael Enriquez will also see action on the bike, alongside Sun Life Business Development Manager for Partnership Distribution Toots Malapad and Sun Life Sales Training & Development Head Ged Custodia.

Former National team member Jan Chiu (swim) together with Sun Life Digital Transformation Specialist Karl Villalonga (bike) and TBR Sun Life Dream Marathon 2017 top finisher Alfred Diacosa (run) will comprise the third team, while an all-female team will consist of elite athletes Bea Grabador (swim), Laarni de Guzman (bike), and Charlie Sy (run).

“It’s a thrill for us to once again be a part of Ironman 70.3, which is a perfect venue for us to highlight Sun Life’s health and wellness thrust,” Sun Life CEO & Country Head Benedict Sison said.

Sun Life, which has expanded its purpose beyond helping clients achieve lifetime financial security, aims to encourage Filipinos to live healthier lives as well. In fact, the company has been beefing up its suite of health and accident insurance products and has been launching programs that promote the cause.

“By having our own brand ambassador and executives leading the Sun Life Tri Team in Ironman, we’re confident that we’re sending a clear message that we’re committed to this purpose,” Sison said. “We hope that by following the journey of our athletes in this race, more Filipinos will be inspired to lead healthier lives.”

Q&A Photos:

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial Inc. (“SLF Inc.”) is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2017, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management (“AUM”) of $975 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

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NTC Memorandum Circular on Interconnection Charges for Short Messages Services and Voice Service

On the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to make goods and services affordable and accessible to consumers, particularly the marginalized, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has immediately put forward the proposal to reduce the TELCO interconnection rates to the New Major Player Oversight Committee.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) then issued Department Order No. 002 directing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to study and formulate the guidelines that will bring down the cost of interconnection.

In the draft Memorandum Circular (MC) drafted by the NTC following a study, interconnection charges were reduced to P 0.50 per minute from P 2.50 per minute for voice service and P 0.05 per text from P 0.15 per text for SMS.

A public hearing was conducted to enable telecommunication companies to comment and submit their position paperspertaining to the MC.

On July 19, 2018, the final MC was issued by the NTC.

The reduced interconnection rates are expected to benefit consumers across socio-economic classes, making voice call and SMS services between networks more affordable. This will also allow telcos to attract more subscribers and offer a wide variety of unlimited plans and services.

Significantly, the MC will benefit landline subscribers and users of basic 2G mobile phones nationwide, majority of whom belong to the marginalized sectors of society.

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