Review of Draft NTC Registration Circular

BNS is calling for urgent and rational review of the Proposed Draft NTC Memo cirular caling for registration of web content.

In essence this circular aims to require content providers (website owners, bloggers) to register with the NTC at the following amounts: Filing Fee of 300.00, Annual Registration fee of 6,000.00, with surcharge and penalties of 50% and 100% if the application is filed before or after 6 months from date of expiry.

From a hosting perspective, this registration requirement would add undue burden to our hosted clients in terms of additional procedures AND annual fees. This increases the costs of an online presence. Hosting clients and hosting companies in the Philippines would not be competitve because of this. It makes hosted sites in the Philippines more expensive compared to other countries.

Due to the worldwide nature of hosting service, clients may opt instead to be hosted OUTSIDE of the Philippines. Thus, not only will this regulation become moot and inutile, it would also cause the death on online businesses in the Philippines. This forces businesses away from the Philippines.

In the end, this will in fact hamper the growth of online content in the Philippines, rather than stimulate it.

As the draft purpotedly aims to “promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services” under RA 7925, this requirement for registration coupled with huge fees rans counter to RA 7925.

It will kill rather than stimulate growth.

If the aim is to protect consumers, hosting companies maintains records of the owners of sites. If there are issues with the website, hosting companies and service providers have the records to assist the Philippine Government protect the interests of the consuming public.

A registration procedure coupled with high annual fees is NOT needed to be able to identify the owners of the website.