2009 January | baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

NTC circular, blogs and the devil is in the details

Posted in Blogging & Technology by juned on the January 30th, 2009

I was having lunch with my Aunt Josefa the other weekend. She was journalist of some sort during her younger days. A woman when she said, “you bloggers make me mad.”

“Oh, why?”

She looked at me and said that the latest events like the damn golfing episode and now the NTC affair proved that the bloggers could not be responsible pointing out that ther NTC affair had been explained and not all bloggers had revised their stand based on what was said.

This reminded me of what my friend told me when her yaya told her “kayong mga bloggers talaga” alluding to that golfing episode.

You know that blogging had become mainstream when it starts becoming topic of conversation between relatives during a luncheon or being reprimanded by your yaya.

hmmmmmm

It was a lively conversation and like all conversations meandering but the important points that were said or more exactly what I said regarding the point and counter-point.

1. The golfing and the ntc issue may appear alike but are in fact different. The noise and talk rose from very different matter. The golfing issue rose from the story of one side about the incident while the NTC one rose from a document that seems to be gone, but through the magic cache can still be seen (and provided at the end of this point). For the NTC issue the talk always goes back to the document.

2. The NTC document, the draft, itself seems to be the source of the argument. Its main flaws for me is that it is not specific - a fatal flaw in legal documents and guidelines. While it may be true that the intent of the authors may be different the content of the circular opens it to varied interpretations. Words like etc and a specific lack in definition of the terms compensation and network can send one’s alarm bells ringing. One cannot be over-anal over laws and circulars because: (i) Interpretation might differ from implementor and reader and (ii) ambiguous/all catching phrases and words (like etc) are like blank checks presigned and can be cashed anytime.

The Devil is in the details.

3. Bloggers are different. And not all bloggers believe in the same thing nor in the same manner of doing things. In the end, I think this will spell out what is a credible, reliable and authoritative blogger. In the same way that it also determines what a credible, reliable, and authoritative journalist or media practitioner is.

And as in any media when you encounter a bad egg what do you do?

Stop (i)reading or patronizing him or her or if the situation warrants it (ii) criticize and point out the mistakes or (iii)sue.

Here again is the draft circular. And as a draft it should be remembered that it is subject to change. And by posting it online it is made available for reading and criticism. And intent is not the law - the law is what is written and intent may vary from reader to reader or administrator to administrator. As such the law or circular has to be specific.

DRAFT OF THE NTC CIRCULAR

22 December 2008 draft

MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR

No. ______________________

SUBJECT: GUIDELINES ON THE PROVISION OF CONTENTS, INFORMATION, APPLICATIONS, AND ELECTRONIC GAMES

WHEREAS, the 1987 Constitution fully recognizes the vital role of communications in nation building and provides for the emergence of communications structures suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation;

WHEREAS, the promotion of competition in the telecommunications market is a key objective of Republic Act No. 7925 (RA7925, for brevity), otherwise known as The Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, which mandates that “a healthy competitive environment shall be fostered, one in which telecommunications carriers are free to make business decisions and interact with one another in providing telecommunications services, with the end in view of encouraging their financial viability while maintaining affordable rates.”

WHEREAS, RA7925 further defines the role of the government to “promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services”;

WHEREAS, the provision of contents, information, applications, and electronic games to the consumers creates demand for telecommunication networks and services – the development of contents, information, applications, and electronic games should therefore be encouraged and facilitated;

WHEREAS, the entry of more contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers in the market will result to lower prices benefiting the consumers;

WHEREAS, to further encourage the development of contents, information applications and electronic games, the prevailing access charge regime between the contents, information, applications and electronic games providers and the networks providers which is revenue sharing should be replaced by fixed access charge;

WHEREAS, in the power sector the consumers can purchase their power requirements from independent power producers – power producers are not subject to nationality requirement;

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to RA7925, Executive Order (EO) No. 546 series of 1979, and in order to encourage and facilitate the development of contents and the provision thereof to the consumers, the National Telecommunications Commission (Commission) hereby promulgates the following guidelines:

A DEFINITIONS

1. The following terms as used in this Circular shall have the following definitions:

a. Content – refers to all types of contents delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers such as music, ring tones, logos, video clips, etc.

b. Information – refers to all types of information delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. road traffic information, financial information, visa application information, etc.

c. Application – refers to all types of applications delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. mobile banking, electronic payments, point of sale service, etc.

d. Electronic Game – refers to games played online except gambling.

e. Contents Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing contents to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.

f. Information Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing information to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.

g. Applications Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing applications to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.

h. Electronic Games Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing electronic games to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.

i. Contents Developers – are persons or entities creating contents.

j. Information Sources – are persons or entities providing information to Information Providers.

k. Applications Developer – are persons or entities creating applications.

l. Electronic Games Developer – are persons or entities creating electronic games.

B REGISTRATION

1. Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Providers, Contents Developers, Information Sources, Applications Developers, and Electronic Games Developers are required to have commercial presence in the country and shall secure Certificate of Registration (COR) from the Commission.

2. There shall be no nationality requirement for contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers, contents, applications and/or electronic games developers and information sources.

3. The application for registration shall be filed and acted upon by the Commission not later than seven (7) working days from date of application.

4. The application shall include the following documents:

a. Valid registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission or from the Department of Trade and Industry and Articles of Incorporation;

b. Facilities lease agreement with duly enfranchised and certificated public telecommunications entity; and

5. The Certificate of Registration shall be valid for a maximum period of five (5) years. Applicants for registration may opt to apply for shorter period not shorter than one (1) year. Certificates of Registration shall be renewable.

D FEES AND CHARGES

1. The following fees and charges shall be imposed:

a. Filing Fee : PhP 300.00

b. Annual Registration Fee: 6,000.00

c. Surcharge for late : 50% of the annual registration fee if application

filing of application is filed within six (6) months from date of expiry

for renewal 100% if filed after six (6) months from date of expiry

E RATES

1. The rates shall be deregulated. The contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider shall inform the Commission of the rates for each of the content, information, application or electronic game offered at least three (3) days prior to the offering of such content, information, application or electronic game. Contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers seeking increases in rates shall inform the Commission of the details of such increases at least five (5) days prior to the implementation of the increase. The Commission in the exercise of its mandate to protect consumers may not allow the increase. If the Commission does not act on the information within five (5) days from receipt of the same, the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider can impose the new rates.

F ACCESS CHARGES

1. Networks, systems and/or facilities providers shall provide access to contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers upon request and based on an access agreement. Access to the networks, systems and/or facilities of duly authorized providers by registered contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers shall be mandatory.

2. The access charge shall be negotiated. The access charge shall be cost-oriented and shall not be higher than the prevailing retail rates, not promotional rates, for the service where the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games are offered/provided.

G CONSUMER WELFARE AND INTEREST

1. Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Providers shall strictly comply to the provisions of MC No. 05-06-2007 (Consumer Protection Guidelines), MC No. 04-06-2007 (Data Log Retention of telecommunications traffic), and MC No. 03-03-2005 (Rules and Regulations on Broadcast Messaging Service) and its amendments.

2. Complaints from the subscribers/users shall be presumed to be valid. The burden of proof shall be upon the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers.

H Sanctions

1. Violation of any of the provisions of this Circular shall be a ground for the revocation or cancellation of the registration as Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Provider.

2. The Commission may direct the disconnection of the access to the networks, systems or facilities of authorized providers pending the investigation of a complaint filed by a subscriber/user if the Commission finds that there is strong evidence against the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider.

3. Any violation of this circular shall be dealt with in accordance with law.

E Final Provision

1. Any circular, order, memoranda or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed repealed or amended accordingly.

2. This Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation and three (3) certified true copies are furnished the UP Law Center.

Quezon City, Phlippines _________________________.

RUEL V. CANOBAS

Commissioner

JORGE V. SARMIENTO JAIME M. FORTES, JR.

Deputy Commissioner Deputy Commissioner

The Bag

Posted in News and Announcements by juned on the January 28th, 2009

It is probably one of the best inventions in history. The bag has became so common and yet so diverse - shape, make and material. Almost everyone has one: Male and female; boy and girl; Old and young; all carry bags.

Haversack or knapsack each has been repository of things and memories.

I had a friend who kept an ice cream bar in his bag only to discover it gone and had a fit over it. He eventually calmed down when he realized the missing ice cream bar had in fact melted.

What do you keep in your bag? A book? A cellphone? Extra things: like books, clothers and electronic gadgets?

Perhaps if you open your bag now and take out the contents. Look through each and probably there is a story in each. And it, the bag,tells a lot about its owner.

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now Baroness Thatcher was famous for crushing the opposition with documents or notes stored in her handbag. She would draw such things from her bag and make her opposition disappear. Hence, the phrase “To Handbag” was born,which was a verb (often referred to women politicians) and meant to treat an idea or a person in a ruthlessly or insensitive manner - in other words cruel.

And this long introduction brings me to the presentation of the winner for the bag contest we ran for BratPack a few months ago.

Ms Aileen Apolo of an Apple A Day won the Timbuk2 bag.

DSC_3850

Diarists, essayists, reporter, writer and blogger

Posted in Blogging & Technology, Politics and Culture by juned on the January 23rd, 2009

There is a flood of talk about blogging and media in the past few weeks. There are amusing discussions; there are discussions that would make one want to slit one’s wrist … then again simply ignore it and then there are discussions that are interesting. And this is because it illuminates key points and makes you think. Thus sparking other discussions. It is not just a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Case in point is the essay written by Rom.

Blogging is a publishing platform. It is also a syndication - through it one can distribute what one publishes. So with most blogging platform it enables one to be the:

Writer/Creator
Editor
Publisher
Distributor/Syndication

And one can publish anything from a diary to commentary to an instruction manual. So in terms of writing one can be any of the following:

Reporter
Essayist
Fiction Writer
Diarist

All can be found in other forms of published literature. As blogging is a form of publishing this is not surprising.

One of the most intimate form of writing and writer. One of the more famous diarist is Samuel Pepys. Pepys kept a detailed private diary from 1660 to 1669. It was published years after during the 19th century and was one of main sources of information about the Restoration of the Monarchy.

There is a book an anthology that goes by the title The Assassin’s Cloak. Compiled and edited by Irene and Alan Taylor. A good source of diaries written in English and predictably a great number of English writers and personalities. One was the Scot William Soutar: A poet, one of the leading poets of the Scottish Poetry Rennaissance: He was bedridden from 1930 till his death in 1943. His diary titled Diary of Dying Man was published after his death.

A diary is an assassin’s cloak which we wear when we stab a comrade in the back with a pen -William Soutar

Why mention this? Although same in form there is a difference between a diary writing on-line and off-line. And it is not exactly ying and yang: black and white. There are as in actual life difference in degrees.

usually, the diarist first and often times only audience is himself. The only time a other people get to read a diary is when it is published.

Now on-line there are two types of diarists one open to the public and one not. Of course there are degrees to this: One might opt to show it to a select set of people or it could be open to the public or not.

When it is published for everyone then does it fall into the same set of responsibilities, rights and liabilities of anything that is published?

It seems yes.