Rep. Pulong introduced House Bill 8480, also known as the Refund for Internet and Telecommunications Service Outages and Disruptions Act, alongside co-authors Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, ACT-CIS Party-list Reps. Jocelyn Tulfo and Edvic Yap, and Quezon City Second District Rep. Ralph Tulfo.
"While the telecommunications industry has continued to thrive in the country," Duterte stated in a statement, "internet connection and reliability of service remain a persistent problem, along with exorbitant costs paid by consumers for Internet service."
HB 8480 assures that consumers only pay for the services they receive and encourages telecom companies to provide fast, reliable, and continuous internet access."
PTEs and ISPs are required to implement a mechanism that will automatically provide customers with refund credits or downward adjustments in their bills on a pro-rated basis whenever service outages or disruptions last 24 hours or more within a one-month billing cycle.
PTEs and ISPs may not compel customers to perform any activity in order to receive a refund credit or bill adjustment.
Customers, both postpaid and prepaid, will receive refund credits.
The bill also stated that telecom companies and ISPs found to have violated the bill's requirements by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) shall be penalized between P200,000 and P2 million for each infringement.
Violators whose annual gross income does not exceed P10 million will be punished 1% to 2% of their annual gross income.
The bill states that the NTC may revoke a PTE's Provisional Authority or Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, or cancel an ISP's registration, for repeated violations, "including the waiver of affected subscribers' pre-termination fees and the timely disbursement of any remaining credits from excessive downtime."