NTC suggests digital content creators to register

Just recently, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) released a memorandum requiring all content developers to secure a license from their office before such content can be made available to the public.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is a regulatory agency providing an environment that ensures reliable, affordable and viable infrastructure and services in information and communications technology (ICT) accessible to all.

NTC said that such registration is required so that it will encourage and facilitate the development of contents.

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.

Registration fee is P 300.00 and a one time fee of P 6,000.00. 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.

Let us not entertain the idea that NTC simply wants to generate funding out of this unbelievable circular first and check on the other probable reasons if any.

First of all, securing a license for digital content will not in any way assure quality content. How will NTC regulate the content? Will NTC be able to read or monitor all available digital content both for online and mobile consumption?

I would just like to remind NTC that when we talk about digital content, we are referring to text, images, audio and video. Will NTC read all the postings, view all the images, listen to podcasts, watch videos, play and solve all the games for PC, online and consoles? Let us also add all digital equipment with digital content, can and will NTC monitor all these?

What if the contents were made by Filipinos residing in other countries? What if the content are not made in English or Tagalog? Let’s say the contents were made by Filipinos who are fluent in Chinese, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Hausa, and others, will NTC hire a translator to monitor these contents?

Another provision in this circular is that contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider shall inform NTC 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. 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.

Now why should we single out digital content providers? If the government thinks this will promote lowering of prices, Why don’t we implement this in all products and services available in the Philipines. Regulate them all I say — starting with the prices of petroleum products please.

This memorandum will still undergo public hearings and I sincerly wish that this will remain as a proposal and will not prosper to anything anymore. Because if this becomes a law, the Philippines will be in the Guiness Book of World Records — for having the most unbelieveable digital content guidelines in the world.

Let me throw this challenge to NTC — prove to the Filipino people that you can really do this big tasks of regulating digital content by doing something very simple — REGULATE THE SELLING OF SIM CARDS. Make sure that all SIM CARDS SOLD ARE REGISTERED so that we can thwart unsolicited messages. This will surely solve crimes and money making schemes done with the use of text messages because every number will be associated with a user.

Do this and we can sit down and talk about the regulation of digital contents. Read the circular at http://portal.ntc.gov.ph:9081/wps/_mc/MC2009/electronic_games.html

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