SMART's franchise extending 25 more years, postponed. - PH Trending

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Thursday 9 February 2017

SMART's franchise extending 25 more years, postponed.

Why House Bill 5942, extending SMART franchise for 25 years has need to refile in the 17th Congress?

House Bill No. 5942

- The bill that extends SMART’s franchise for 25 years since 1992 which will expires in 2017.

Who objects the bill that causes its deferment even after passing by the Majority?

 - Senate Deputy Minority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III.
 - House minority Leader Danilo Suarez
 - Kabayan Party List Representative Harry Roque

“The management of Smart will have to refile that bill next Congress,” said Senator Sergio R. Osmeña III, acting chairman of the public services committee. The 17th congress will opens on July 2017.

It also been said that there are four other senators that were not adequately informed of the previous hearings where it passed on second reading last Feb. 3, 2017 where they could have raised the complaints over issues, such as slow Internet service and dropped calls for further amendments. “Twenty-five more years, can you imagine that? They should have at least talked to us,” Mr. Sotto exclaimed.

Buhay party list Lito Atienza said that the majority must explain why Smart’s franchise was approved.

“Sakaling aprubahan ng Senado ang Smart franchise ng magkakaroon ng bicaml and on the part of the minority, we will vote against kasi may isang boto ang minority sa bicameral,” said House minority Leader Danilo Suarez said. He also added that he was assured by Senator Ralph Recto that he will do the same.

“As early as August 6, nagfile na ako ng Resolution 237 and this is not just to investigate telcos. It is to provide the telcos a show-cause order on why their franchise should not be revoked already by congress,” said Kabayan Party List Representative Harry Roque.

Suarez said that, “For postpaid subscribers like us, we get billed monthly regardless of the fact that we were unable to make and receive calls for a month due to signal issus and lack of sufficient technical support. Prepaid subscribers, who avail of text, call and internet promos, thinking that it would save them money, end up losing more due to intermittent signal and limited connectivity.”

For Mr. Osmeña, the senators who have objected to approving the bill “seem to have very valid objections.” “I guess, they wanted to put Smart’s feet to the fire by making them commit on the improvement of the telco’s services that they provide the public.”

Solon asks House to review Globe Telecom’s franchise

Valenzuela City Rep. Maggi Gunigundo has expressed disappointment over the failure of Globe Telecom to  provide quality and reliable service to the public.
  •  dropped calls
  • delayed text messages
  • slow mobile data speed
  • poor customer service
In filing House Resolution 1858, Gunigundo asked the House Committee on Franchise  to make a study on the said telecommunication company and determine if they can still fulfill their mandate.

According to Gunigundo, Globe Telecom is expected to provide excellent and dependable service to its subscribers being a public utility,  that was granted a legislative franchise on March 13, 1992 under Republic Act No. 7229.

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