Senate adopts resolution urging NTC to reconsider shutdown order vs ABS-CBN

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2020   •   1986

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday adopted a resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reconsider the cease and desist order it issued against the ABS-CBN Corporation.

The upper chamber approved Senate Resolution No. 395 after 12 senators voted in favor of it, while nine abstained.

Among those who abstained from voting on the resolution are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Pia Cayetano, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, Ronald Dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and Bong Revilla.

The senators who abstained from voting argued that the issue has already been filed before the Supreme Court and that the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN should emanate from the House of Representatives.

Cayetano, who initially signed the resolution, said she withdrew her signature as she would like to refrain from expressing her views while the issue remains pending at the High Court.

The resolution reiterated the Senate’s stand that the ABS-CBN, its subsidiaries and affiliates, should be allowed to continue operations pending the disposition of its franchise renewal.

The NTC issued a shutdown order against ABS-CBN after its franchise expired on May 4.

The media network went off air in compliance with the order but it filed a petition before the Supreme Court, claiming that the NTC gravely abused its discretion when it issued the order instead of deferring to Congress, which has the plenary power to grant and renew legislative franchises.

On Monday, the Supreme Court said the petition has been raffled to a magistrate while the House committee on legislative franchises issued a show cause order, asking the NTC to explains its action.

Senate on total closure from January 10 to 16 – Sotto

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines ­– The Senate will be closed for a week amid rising COVID-19 infections among its employees, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Friday.

Citing a report from the Senate Medical Team, Sotto said there are now 46 active COVID positive cases in the upper chamber while 175 employees are under quarantine due to exposure and manifestation of symptoms.

Sotto said these employees are awaiting the result of their COVID-19 swab test.

He also mentioned that five staff of the Medical Bureau are under quarantine, which depleted their workforce and find it hard to attend to the needs of the infected employees.

“Medical has sent a Memo recommending 7 days of total closure of the Senate from January 10 (Monday) to  January 16 (Sunday),” he told reporters.

“They will conduct thorough disinfection and this will lessen contact among employees to prevent or slow down virus transmission,” he added.

Sotto said total closure means no one will be allowed to enter the Senate premises except for those involved in the disinfection process to be conducted on January 8 and January 15.

The House of Representatives earlier announced it has extended the lockdown in its offices until January 16, also due to increasing COVID-19 cases.

 

Telcos at internet service providers, pinaghahanda para sa holiday online traffic surge

Robie de Guzman   •   December 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan ng National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ang mga telecommunication company at internet service provider (ISP) sa bansa na palakasin pa ang kapasidad ng kanilang internet at broadband services.

Ito ay bilang paghahanda sa inaasahang pagtaas ng online traffic ngayong holiday season.

Ayon sa NTC, marami ang magsasagawa ng virtual gatherings ngayong Disyembre dahil na rin sa nagpapatuloy na banta ng COVID-19. Inaasahan rin ang mataas na usage rate ng video call at conferencing na nangangailangan ng malakas at maaasahang internet connection.

Kaya dapat ay naka-alerto ang telcos at ISPs upang masegurong maayos ang serbisyo at maiwasan ang downtime.

“During the period from December 17, 2021 to January 07, 2022, please observe a heightened level of emergency preparedness to ensure minimal disruption and downtime strictly complying with the prescribed service performance standards at all times,” ayon sa NTC.

“You are hereby directed to fast track your maintenance efforts, increase internet/broadband capacities, and ensure that business continuity and disaster recovery protocols are in place and functioning, 24/7,” dagdag pa ng ahensiya.

Una nang hinimok ng Department of Health ang publiko na gawin na lamang online ang selebrasyon sa halip na magtipon ng pisikal ngayong panahon ng holiday upang makaiwas sa banta ng COVID-19.

Noong nakaraang taon, nagpalabas rin ng kahalintulad na kautusan ang NTC upang matiyak na matatag ang serbisyo na ibinibigay ng mga telco at ISP bunsod ng mataas na demand sa internet sa bansa.

NTC to telcos: Warn public against spam text messages

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered telcos to send a message to its subscribers, warning them about text scams that contain dubious job offers.

In a memorandum dated November 19, the NTC directed Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications, Dito Telecommunity, and Digitel Mobile Philippines to send a text blast containing the following message:

“BABALA! Huwag maniwala sa text na diumano’y nag-aalak ng trabaho. Huwag po magbigay ng personal na impormasyon. Ito po ay isang scam.”

The NTC said telcos have until December 14 to submit their compliance report on the latest directive.

The order comes after thousands of mobile users complained of receiving text messages or e-mails offering job opportunities.

Authorities have tagged this as a scam and advised public to report this to the NTC.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier said its initial probe showed that a global organized syndicate could be behind the proliferation of text scams.

The NPC said it has summoned data protection officers of local telcos, banks, and e-commerce platforms to discuss the scam text surge.

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