Texters’ Declaration

Texters unite! Stand up to the telecom monopolies!

We, cell phone subscribers of all ages and classes, inspired by our role as information providers in People Power 2, conscious of our rights as consumers and citizens, and believing that power lies at the hands of a united people, declare the following:

We are outraged over the plan of Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications to cut their free text message (SMS) allocations for all subscribers. This is nothing but a blatant profiteering scheme by monopolies in the Philippine telecommunications industry whose greed for profits have become insatiable;

We do not believe that these monopolies are losing money. In its midyear 2001 report, Globe declared a total of P15.4 billion in gross operating revenues, signifying a 84.6% increase from P8.4 billion for the same period in 2000. Globe’s net income for the first quarter of the year is P1.07 billion. (Source: Globe website)

For its part, Smart reversed its financial situation from a loss of nearly P1.9 billion in the first half 2000 to a net income of P1.8 billion in the same period this year. For the six months ended 30th June 2001, Smart had subscriber revenues of P12.3 billion, or an 85.3% increase from revenues of P6.6 billion for the same period in 2000. (Source: Smart website)

We are sick and tired of their promises of new equipment and network expansion efforts when all we get are late text messages, dropped calls, generally lousy services, weak signals, questionable accounting of calls and text messages and high fees. In fact, majority of us who have prepaid accounts are forced to accept one-sided terms and bereft of any protection from bad services.

Its about time that Globe and Smart their promises.

We are frustrated that the government, instead of protecting the Filipino consumer, seems to be coddling monopolies like Globe and Smart. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has failed to protect public interest and has allowed these companies, in the guise of deregulation, to engage in highly immoral and rapacious monopolistic practices.

Now we ask the people, is this what we get for making the Philippines the text messaging capital of the world? Is this what we consumers deserve for giving these monopolies billions in annual profits? How audacious for Globe and Smart to threaten us with higher rates if we do not agree to their scheme!

- We are calling on the Filipino consumers to act now to protect our rights. We specifically demand that:

1. Globe and Smart refrain from carrying out their free text message reduction scheme.
2. The NTC investigate and resolve persistent complaints of lousy services from Globe, Smart and other telecomunication service providers in the country
3. The government reviews its telecomunications policy, especially the deregulation of the market which has allowed monopolies like Smart and Globe to dictate on the consumers.

Done on 27 Aug. 2001, Quezon City, Philippines.

Anthony Ian Cruz, activist writer
Raymond Palatino, student leader
Sandra Araullo, athlete
Ruth Cervantes, radio broadcaster
Trixie Concepcion, environmentalist
Roland Tolentino, college professor
Emil Mercado, visual artist
Rey Asis, campus journalist
Gerry Kaimo, net-activist
Ederic Eder, journalist

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