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Thievery Through Texting

December 27, 2008


“How do I rob thee? Let me count the ways…” goes an old joke about how a Japanese commenter was supposedly describing how the Marcos regime was stealing money from the Filipino people at the height of it power, with the quote being a pun of how a Japanese embassy political officer enamored with FM was claiming how Marcos ‘loved’ Filipinos.

Well fast forward to 2008 and the scenario is how texting crazy Filipinos, all 65-million estimated mobile phone subscribers are at the mercy of hugely dominant telecommunications companies Smart and Globe with the third upstart firm Sun Cellular a far third.

Making the headlines in Manila this yuletide week is the suspension during peak hours of the telcos’ unlimited call-plus-texting promotions supposedly intended to avoid over-congesting the firms’ SMS-handling infrastructure.

Seems reasonable at first blush given that as much as 1 billion text messages (SMS) are said to run through the systems each day.

At one peso per text message you’d have the telco’s raking in gazzillions daily.

Chump change from chumps, really?

What galls many Filipinos is that after being inveigled to register for the promos and buy up millions of new pre-paid SIM cards, their promised benefits are unceremoniously curtailed with no advance notice at all,  with the action approved on the sly by the regulatory arm of government, the National Telecommunication Commission!

Something smells rotten.

~(Cross-posted from

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