Eighth wonder? Jeju's $18.8m phone bill

Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) -

The government of Jeju Island is drawing criticism for having racked up a 21.2 billion won ($18.8 million) phone bill in the voting for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Last year the southern island was named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The new wonders were chosen by e-mail and telephone voting conducted via the Internet and phone calls from July 2009 through Nov. 11 last year.

On Thursday the Jeju government report to the provincial council revealed that the telephone voting process resulted in a bill of more than 21.2 billion won.

Of the total about 10.4 billion won has been paid to the telecom operator KT Corp. Of the remainder, the Jeju government plans to pay KT about 6.6 billion won over a period of five years.

The remaining 4.16 billion won, which is KT's profits, has been excluded from the unpaid bill as agreed with the telecom operator.

In addition to the bill from the telephone voting, non-governmental organizations that worked for Jeju's selection as one of the new seven wonders spent 5.67 million won on telecommunications.

On Thursday the Jeju government also revealed the standard participation agreement with the New Open World Corp., the company behind the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation that organized the selection process.

According to reports, the contract includes a clause that allows New Open World Corp. to change contract conditions, raising suspicion that it may have been a dual contract.

The councilors receiving the report also called for the government of the island to disclose information regarding other costs that arose from the voting process.

"If the phone bill, and the number of votes are revealed, all countries (that took part in the New7Wonders selection) could lead to the new wonders being ranked and could damage the original intentions behind the event," Jeju's Deputy Governor Kim Bu-il said.

"The New Open World Corp. is said to be giving 50 percent of the profits to New7Wonders Foundations, but the profit sharing structure is unknowable unless the agreement between KT and New Open World Corp. is revealed."


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options