NTC to start crackdown on illegal mobile phone dealers

THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-Davao Region told mobile phone dealers to make sure they have their authorization to sell certificates and standard approval permits as the Commission will start its intensified campaign against unlicensed dealers this month.

During the AFP-PNP press conference Wednesday, October 11, held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, NTC-Davao director Nelson Cañete said the issue on illegal mobile phone sale in the country, specifically in the region, has reached to an "unbearable" state.

NTC-Davao Region has consistently received reports that there are small and big cellphone shops in the region that are operating without authorization from the Commission.

Even those who are given approval to sell still have committed violations such as selling cellphones and other communication equipment that are non-NTC approved.

"This strict regulation for both the sellers and the cellular phones they are selling is for the general welfare and public health security as we have heard many incidents of phone exploding randomly," Cañete said.

Most of the non-NTC approved cellphones are shipped from China and Taiwan and usually have odd brand names that are not known by many, while there are also imitations of well-known cellphone brands.

Cañete also reminded the public to refrain from purchasing online since all these are not authorized to sell. NTC only authorizes those that have physical shops as they can be easily regulated and monitored by the Commission.

"We cannot blame the consumers if they'll buy from these illegal sellers so who we are after to face charges are the suppliers or sellers," he said.

NTC-Davao Region, he said, will be coordinating with other related national government agencies, specifically the Philippine National Police and Department of Information and Communications Technology, in implementing their campaign through establishment inspections.

In Davao City, Cañete said, most of these illegal cellphone sellers are in Magsaysay Avenue, Matina, Toril, and inside some malls.

As much as it desires to do the inspections simultaneously in the region, NTC had to do it separately due to limited number of employees.

"If we conduct an inspection in Uyanguren, we are sure that the Toril stores will know about it. So what we have planned is to do it randomly. Instead of going to Toril in the afternoon, we will head to some other places in the region like Panabo or Tagum City," he said.

The Commission is targeting to inspect more than 5,000 establishments in the region with the goal to finish it at the end of 2018 or second quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, consumers are advised to purchase cellphones only at authorized cellphone sellers or at the cellphone brand's official outlet stores that are usually located inside the malls.

"Most people think that when a phone has an NTC sticker attached, it is already legal. But there are stores that are already printing fake NTC stickers. Thus, the best thing for us to do is to buy at its official outlet shops," Cañete said.
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