Even if you aren’t a blogger, but just a Filipino using your common sense, you too would be looking up the thesaurus and dictionary for words greater in strength than convulsed, infuriated, and outraged, once you read the NTC proposition posted on its website last December 22, 2008.
Here is Google’s cache of the perturbing proposition.
Have you ever seen an opening more defensive? After the the title, we are immediately given constitutional references of the action they propose to make, subliminally saying that “This isn’t against the law.”
The NTC commissioners used Republic Act 7925 (RA 7925), which, as they say, “mandates that ‘a healthy competitive environment shall be fostered, one in which telecommunications carriers are free to make business decisions and interact with one another in providing telecommunications services, with the end in view of encouraging their financial viability while maintaining affordable rates.’”
I don’t know, maybe the commissioners overlooked it, but don’t they know that the rate of social networking sites for the use of their site is $0.00? Even the e-mail that they require from the user was given free by providers like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. These telecommunications carriers known worldwide have made it their decision, their business decision, to offer use of their site for free. Why would such a commission from such a small country like the Philippines charge the users of these sites for a registration fee and a filing fee that totals to PHP 6,300.00 ($130.00 plus)? Does this act agree to what the constitution says?
Quoting again the said proposition, “WHEREAS, RA7925 further defines the role of the government to ‘promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services‘”.
How is the proposition fair to the people, to the Filipino people, who have long enjoyed the liberties given by the Internet if they are to be taken away from them, to be singled out from the rest of the world? In any way possible, no matter how great the tone or quality of voice of the speaker, this statement will never ever sound right: “I’m a Filipino, I pay our government just to have a blog on WordPress and an account on Facebook.”
If the proposition does get to be an order, the NTC will be assured that it will be doing the exact opposite of the goals that RA 7925 wills for its people.
And “Yes,” these are the kind of people who sit behind the Philippines’ public office desks.