Calls for no-expiration on mobile load mount

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, has thrown his support behind the removal of expiration dates on prepaid mobile phone load, a proposal that the National Telecommunications Commission is studying.

"Ang pera, walang expiration date. Bakit ang load, na pera ng consumer, nag-eexpire?," Revilla said.

NTC has said it will take two months to study the removal of expiry dates on prepaid load but Revilla wants to expedite the review.

"This is why I am writing the NTC as Chairman of the Committee on Public Services to ask them to submit their studies on the matter, and to expedite the process," he said in a press statement.

He said that it is unfair for consumers to lose prepaid load.

"Pinag-iipunan ng ating mga kababayan ang pang-load sa cellphone. Tinitipid din nila ang paggamit nito para hindi agad maubos, tapos, basta-basta na lang mawawala dahil nag-expire na ang load," he said. He said that expiration dates are acceptable on promos that have fixed periods like unlimited texts and calls, but not on regular load.

The NTC issued a memorandum on the validity periods of load in 2009. Under that memorandum, prepaid loads of P10 and below are valid for three days. For load from P10 to P50, validity is for 15 days while prepaid load of P50 to P100 expires after 30 days. Users who load P100 to P150 have 45 days to use it up, while load worth P250 to P300 is valid for 75 days. Load worth P300 and up is valid for 120 days.

NTC's review comes weeks after the Department of Trade and Industry banned issuance of gift certificates with expiry dates. 

Revilla also asked the NTC to look into reports of unsolicited messages, dropped calls, missed calls, and unsent text messages.

"In addition to this dilemma is the inaccurate billing. Mabibigla ka lang na mas mataas ang bill kaysa sa inaasahan mo. Puputulin ang linya kahit bayad ka na. Dapat resolbahin na ito ng mga telcos sa lalong madaling panahon," he said.

Under Senate rules, Revilla's committee has jurisdiction over "all matters affecting public services and utilities; communications; land, air, river and sea transportation including railroads, inter-island navigation, and lighthouses; and the grant or amendment of legislative franchises."

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