11 Jan 2010
Filipino mobile operators Smart Communications and Globe Telecom have filed separate orders, each seeking a temporary restraining order against a new billing scheme imposed by the regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), on the making of mobile phone calls. In a submission to the Court of Appeals, Smart – the cellular arm of national PTO Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) – is accusing the regulator of abusing its ‘right to due process’, by insisting on the implementation of a six seconds per pulse billing scheme despite Smart’s complaints. The cellco argues that in the NTC memo ordering the new billing regime, no mention is made of any ‘default system’ and no rules concerning its implementation were promulgated. As such, Smart argues that the issuance of a cease and desist order by the NTC, just four days after the issuance of the original order, is ‘tantamount to a prejudgement of the case against Smart’. The mobile operator is also accusing the regulators of violating the ‘constitutional right of private companies to determine prices’. The NTC declined to comment.