Globe Telecom counsel Rodolfo Salalima recently expressed doubt on the promise of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) to maintain Sun Cellular’s ‘unlimited’ or bucket offerings despite the merger between PLDT and Digital Telecommunications, Inc. (Digitel).
“Given PLDT’s track record of unfulfilled promises in the telecommunications industry, it is highly unlikely that they will follow through on their verbal commitment to retain the ‘Unli’ plans,” said Salalima in an interview.
PLDT chair Manuel Pangilinan was quoted in an earlier report as saying that the fear of ending ‘unli’ and bucket pricing schemes are unfounded. He added that PLDT is prepared to make a formal commitment to the NTC to retain the ‘unli’ plans.
This was in response to lawmakers’ and consumer advocacy groups’ concerns about PLDT cancelling ‘unlimited’ plans for text and call services of Sun Cellular immediately after the deal was announced.
“If PLDT cannot fulfill its commitment to the Supreme Court itself, how can we expect it to fulfill a promise that is not binding in law,” stated Salalima, referring to Supreme Court orders for interconnection between telecommunications firms as early as 21 years ago that have yet to be implemented by PLDT.
“We have 31 pending requests for interconnection with PLDT, and only one in Davao has been approved,” added Salalima.
Salalima also referred to Supreme Court cases Republic of the Philippines vs. Republic Telephone Co. in 1996 and Republic of the Philippines vs. Express Telecom Co. in 2002 as examples of PLDT either outrightly refusing interconnectivity agreements or connecting with them but using outlying linkages to block calls.
“Ten or twenty years from now, when the players are gone from the stage, who will remember the promise?” said Salalima. “It all boils down to a matter of trust,” he added.