Ako Bicol Rep. Garbin to IATF: Probe telecomms' service interruptions

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin has urged the Inter-Agency Task Force to probe the service interruptions and degraded services of telecommunication service providers in light of their impact on public services, online classes, and e-commerce.

In a statement, Garbin, who is a Member of the Committee on Legislative Franchises, said: "Apologies and appeals for understanding are not enough. I ask the IATF, DICT, and NTC to immediately issue a show cause order to PLDT, Smart, Skycable, and Cignal TV."

"The country deserves a detailed formal explanation for these telecommunication services providers' several days of service interruptions and degraded services because of submarine cable maintenance work and an alleged “sun outage”. If the explanations are less than satisfactory, PLDT, Smart, Skycable, and Cignal TV should be swiftly slapped with administrative fines, penalties, and other sanctions," he said.

Garbin added that in a time when the nation is trying to survive in the new normal through physical distancing, contactless transactions, and interactions, these services are crucial.

"Anong gagawin ng mga mamamayan at mga negosyong naka-konekta sa PLDT, Smart, Skycable, and Cignal TV? Isang linggo silang lahat nakatunganga? Isang linggong walang kita? Isang linggo hindi makabayad ng bills at mga utang? Hindi pwede ang sorry sa ganyan. Milyung milyong tao at libu-libong mga negosyo ang apektado tapos sorry lang? Bukod sa rebate, magbayad kayo ng multa," he said.

"This situation highlights the need for up to 4 or 5 major industry players in telecoms and internet services. DICT and DTI must invite more investors so our country will not be vulnerable to widespread disruptions," he urged.