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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



21 September 2021 07:38:13 PM

To better offer telecommunication services to the Filipinos, the House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 9851 or the proposed “Zero Spectrum User Fee for Telco Using Wi-Fi Act." Receiving 177 affirmative votes, it seeks to address the unjust policy and regulation that levies exorbitant Spectrum User Fee (SUF) on telcos for the use of Wi-Fi frequencies, and in so doing, would lower the cost of telecom services. The measure would adopt a license-free and zero-SUF policy, as well as help in the acceleration of internet connectivity and the development of Wi-Fi infrastructure in the country. Lijewise, with 179 affirmative votes , the House unanimously passed on third and final reading HB 10098, establishing information and communications technology (ICT) hubs in all provinces to provide efficient inter-connectivity, especially in the unserved and underserved areas in the country. Additionally, HB 7425, which garnered 167 affirmative votes, 6 negative votes, and one abstention, also hurdled third and final reading. It aims to level the playing field between traditional and digital businesses by imposing value-added tax on digital transactions. Meanwhile, lawmakers ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 10121 and Senate Bill 2214, resetting the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Also ratified was the bicam conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of HB 59 and SB 1840, setting the minimum paid-up capital and locally produced stock inventory requirements for foreign retail business enterprises. Other bills approved on third and final reading were: 1) HB 10062, mandating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to institutionalize a technical-vocational education and training and livelihood program for rehabilitated drug dependents; 2) HB 10022 or the proposed "Local Sectoral Representation Act”; 3) HB 10154 or the proposed "Science for Change Program”; 4) HB 10171, institutionalizing the 1989 University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense Accord; 5) HBs 10211 and 10212, granting franchises to GVM Radio/TV Corporation and Mount Apo Science Foundation College, Inc., respectively; 6) HBs 10000, 10001, 9376, and 10191, granting Philippine citizenship to Gaoming Qiu, Kwok Yam Ian Chan, Elizabeth Eder Zobel de Ayala, and Zhengyu Zhu, respectively; and 7) HBs 10108 and 10109, establishing economic zones in Iloilo and Occidental Mindoro, respectively. Deputy Speakers Roberto Puno, Arnolfo Teves Jr., and Bernadette Herrera presided over the hybrid session today.