Wired! Philippines

PLDT clarifies metering reports

Seeking to clarify reports on the metering service, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) posted this on their web site at http://www.pldt.com.ph. The following report was also posted at the Philippine Cyberview mailing list. The report runs as follows:

"The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. clarified that it would start metering its local telephone service in May 1999 in areas outside Metro Manila and June 1999 in Metro Manila.

This is much later than November 10, 1998 -- the earliest date PLDT is allowed to implement the Local Measured Service (LMS) as mandated by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) -- which was stated in some news reports.

PLDT's plan to meter its local telephone service was included in its petition to restructure its rates, which it filed with the NTC in February last year. The Petition was approved with amendments by the NTC in November 1997 after conducting a 10-month study including bearings attended by various groups. Oppositors and anti-metering groups were given sufficient time to air their comments and objections during these hearings.

Antonio R. Samson, PLDT senior vice president for Corporate Srvices, said the issues raised by the Philippines League for Democratic Telecommunications Inc. (PLDTI) have already been taken up and answered during these hearings.

Samson also stressed that the very concept of LMS which is "pay for what you use" makes it a fair and equitable method of charging for local telephone service. He further noted that this is the same way that the consumers are billed for other basic utilities such as electricity, transportation fares, and water consumption.

To prepare for the new metered service, Samson assured PLDT subscribers that parallel billings would be conducted three months prior to the start of metering. During this phase, all PLDT subscribers will receive a "mock bill" showing how much the charge would be once LMS is already operational together with their actual monthly bill."
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