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Huwag muna puro kita: Telcos urged to allot free calls, data to prepaid subscribers during Luzon lockdown

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Deputy Minority Floor Leader Carlos Zarate has called on the countries two giant telecommunication companies—PLDT and Globe—to allot free calls and data to their respective prepaid subscribers in the light the coronavirus pandemic.

Zarate said majority of Filipinos have no way of contacting their relatives in other parts of the country and access needed information but through online via their mobile gadgets,

He said giving prepaid cellphone users free load and data usage will help them communicate with relatives and loved ones, as well as access critical information and services online especially those living in Luzon where the lockdown is being implemented due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“This, too (communication), is now becoming difficult—many of them do not have enough money because they do not have work, and, even if they have money to buy, stores or retailers are closed so they cannot reload,” said Zarate.

“We have received many reports of these concerns by our people, thus, we call on the telcos to help out and fullfil their social responsibility during this time of crisis,” he added.

Zarate stressed that this free load help is, in fact, “a drop in the bucket.”

He noted that these giant telcos still have a pending case to refund consumers of at least P7 billion since November 2011 for overcharging their text messaging.