Philippine Laws and VoIP
The Philippines is considered a poor country in terms of GNPs and
because of its huge foreign debt. Actually, to be truthful about
it, the only thing that perks up the economy of the Philippines
is the remittances of its foreign workers abroad. You can just base
it on two aspects, like the housing and car industry.
Wherever you go today in the Philippines, newly built big and sprawling
residential houses are owned by families with family members working
abroad. Brand new cars are also mostly owned by families of OFW
or Overseas Foreign Workers. If you are an employee of a government
or private companies even when you hold managerial position, you
will now be hard put to built a house or buy a spanking new car.
Employees in the Philippines, both
private or government are suffering heavily under the present government,
because of the uncontrolled spiraling of prices.
It is no wonder then that there are an ever continuing number of
outward bound Filipinos searching for better pay outside of the
The very large number of Filipino workers abroad and their families
in the Philippines can benefit immensely if they can use the VoIP
service in the Philippines. The present rate of overseas call charge
by telephone operators is 0.40 cents per one minute call. If they
use a VoIP phone, they will only be paying less than 0.10 cents
per call, or even lower. The problem in the Philippines is that
the government regulating body which is the National Telecommunication
Commission or the NTC, do not look kindly to VoIP providers in their
quest for permission to operate in the Philippines.
Although the national telecommunication commission or the NTC have
already set guidelines for those who may wish to operate VoIP in
the Philippines, the guidelines set forth are just so tough; no
provider in his right mind would ever dare to give a thought about
it. We do not know the actual reason for this. It might be that
indeed, the NTC is maybe making it tough for VoIP providers to get
in the Philippines for reasons of public communication safety. If
there are other reasons, well, we do not know about them.
But the opportunity here in the Philippines for VoIP operators
would have successfully been concluded if not for the NTC’s
tough set of guidelines. Both sides, the calling public and the
providers would have greatly benefited if it were implemented nearly
3 years ago. Even the government would have collected large taxes
from the project. In effect, all would have immensely profited from
the project, except of course, the telephone company operating the
long distance telephone communication system. They could have lost
a lot of money, if the NTC did not put such an
impossible guidelines for the VoIP operators to follow.
The NTC was only concerned for the communication safety of the
public that is why they did what they have to do. Government agencies
in the Philippines are really sincere in the protection of public
safety, which is why the public trust them so much. I wonder if
other nations in Asia who are already benefiting from
VoIP operations do not have the sincerity of their own NTCs to protect
the welfare of the public? Like the sincerity of the Philippines
own NTC? I am just wondering.
Anyway, I also believe that once VoIP can be given the chance to
operate in the Philippines, the public, especially the families
of OFW working abroad, can greatly benefit by their low rates as
compared to the rates that the telephone companies are charging
This piece has just made me realize that indeed, it was the stiff
guidelines by the NTC that prevented many investors willing to do
business in the Philippines as VoIP provider. In fact, 3 years ago,
I was approached by a friend who invited me to join his project
relating to this business. Actually, I agreed to his business proposal.
What happened however, was that my friend who lives in the U.S.
has not been heard of since, and I think he had already left for
the U.S. after having finally decided to put off his plans for the
VoIP business due to the stringent guideless put up by the NTC