12 Mar 2009
The Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (PCTO) is reportedly supporting proposed rules designed to outlaw the use of mobile phones while driving. The Inquirer newspaper writes that some of PCTO’s heavyweight members – PLDT, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Piltel, Innove, Digitel, BayanTel, Capwire, Eastern Telecoms, Extelcom, Philcom and PT&T – are lining up behind the two bills that have been filed with the House of Representatives; these are House Bill 1625 or the ‘Cell Phone Safety Act’, and House Bill No 4917 or ‘An Act to Prohibit and Penalise Reading, Composing and Sending Electronic Messages while Driving, and for Other Purposes’. Under the proposed legislation, making or receiving calls and sending and receiving SMS/MMS would be banned for drivers of private and public vehicles. People caught violating the new laws could face up to six months in jail or a fine of up to PHP100,000 (USD2,063).