NTC hit for high-end phones for execs

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) scolded the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for issuing high-end mobile phones to its directors while its engineers had to do field work with borrowed phones.

In its 2019 annual audit report on the NTC, the COA noted that the agency’s Central Office (CO) and National Capital Region (NCR) Office procured 44 mobile phones amounting to P2.1 million.

The COA said the phones were procured in 2018 and 2019 for the implementation of the NTC’s project to test the users’ experience in terms of coverage, speed and reliability of mobile broadband services of public telecommunications entities (PTEs).

Validation by the audit team, however, revealed that only four of the procured mobile phones were issued to the engineers doing field work for the project while majority were issued to branch directors and officer-in-charge (OIC) directors and the rest remained unused by the end of 2019.

In a reply incorporated in the audit report, the NTC admitted that a majority of the mobile phones were issued to branch directors and their technical staff supposedly “to conduct validation anytime and anywhere and to aid them in the conduct of their study and research so they can propose or formulate new policies or regulations.”

In a rejoinder, however, the audit team maintained that the mobile phones were procured for a specific purpose, which was to test mobile internet speed and other broadband services in specific locations or barangays.

The COA said the NTC never submitted the results of evaluation of the broadband speed, report on the experience of mobile broadband users and notifications of the concerned telecommunications companies in cases of weak broadband speed or signal. — AdChoiceTV News



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