All mobile phones will be stamped with NTC seal
The National Telecommunications Commission is set to issue an order that will require all mobile phones being offered for sale to bear NTC stickers, in a bid to assure consumers that the phones they buy come only from legitimate sources.
The NTC noted that while the commission has existing rules on the manufacture, purchase, sale, lease and/or retail of mobile phone units, parts and accessories, there are still a great number of cellular phones coming from authorized dealers and suppliers that does not bear the NTC stickers.
These undocumented cellular phones, according to the regulatory body, are being offered for sale by both licensed and unlicensed cellular phone entrepreneurs, contrary to existing law.
In its draft rules, the commission said it intends to enhance the existing regulatory measures to prevent market distortion brought about by undocumented cellular phones, which lead to unprotected consumers and loss of revenue for the government.
As proposed, all cellular phones sold in the market must bear the NTC sticker, including second-hand cellular phones. While mobile phones that are currently being used by subscribers are not subject to the requirement, these handsets will be required to carry the sticker once they are offered for sale or sold as second-hand to authorized cellular phone sellers or resellers.
According to the NTC, the manufacture, distribution and attachment of the tamper-proof NTC sticker shall be done solely by the commission to provide assurance that the cellular phones come from legitimate sources and thus translate into assurance and protection for consumers. “This shall also serve as an instrument to discourage suppliers/distributors to underdeclare the number of units they import,” it said.
All new imported cellular phones prior to their release from the Bureau of Customs shall secure the NTC sticker from the commission by presenting documentary evidences coming from the BOC that the cellular phones are subjected to import taxes and other Custom duties.
In the case of cellular phones already offered for sale, authorized suppliers, distributors, dealers, sellers and resellers shall secure the NTC sticker by presenting either the official receipt issued by the source of equipment which should come from the authorized suppliers or distributors, or copies of payment of Custom duties.
Meanwhile, owners intending to sell their cellular phone without the NTC sticker to authorized sellers or resellers shall secure NTC sticker by presenting either the box of the cellular phone with the IMEI sticker still intact; the official receipt by authorized dealers, suppliers, sellers and resellers covering the purchased cellular phones; or an affidavit attesting that he or she is the owner of the cellular phone and the same was purchased from a legitimate source.
Suppliers, distributors, dealers, sellers, or resellers who engage in the purchase, sale, lease and/or retail of cellular phones without the NTC-approved sticker shall be fined P5,000 per unit.
By MARY ANN REYES
The Philippine Star
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