By Eileen Mencias
The National Telecommunications Commission should suspend the license of businessman Mel Velarde’s Now Telecom as well as other telcos with unpaid financial obligations, Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon said.
Ridon wrote to NTC deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios to request for a copy of Now Telecom’s annual report, audited financial statements and documents related to its supervision and regulation fees (SRFs) and spectrum user fees (SUFs).
Ridon claimed that the self proclaimed fourth telco owes the NTC some P2 billion, representing unpaid SRFs and SUFs from 2004 to 2017.
According to the Commission on Audit, SRFs and SUFs represent a big chunk of NTC’s revenues.
In 2019, the NTC generated P7.6 billion in revenues, of which P4.7 billion came from SUF collections and P1.7 billion from SRF.
“Dapat singilin ang mga may utang for the use of the spectrum. Kung ayaw magbayad, dapat i-suspend…based on the documents I’ve seen may utang pa sila (Now Telecom) na P2 billion ,” Ridon told Bilyonaryo.