NTC orders e-commerce platforms to stop sale of SMS blasters


    The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered the local units of electronics commerce platforms Lazada, Shopee and Facebook Marketplace to stop the sale of the short message service or SMS blaster machines on their online shopping platforms.

    NTC issued an order to each of the companies – Shopee Philippines, Lazada E-Services Philippines and Facebook Philippines-Marketplace – directing them to “cease and desist” from selling the text blaster machine and other similar equipment.

    According to the NTC, it has not authorized the importation, manufacture, sale, distribution or type approval of the said equipment.

    “Thus, any sale of such equipment appears to violate Republic Act 3846, The Radio Control Law, as amended, and various rules and regulations under NTC memorandum order 01-02-2013, titled Prohibition or portable cellular mobile repeater and portable cellsite equipment,” the NTC order stated.

    NTC also issued a show- cause order directing the companies to appear before the agency on October 27 and to explain in writing within 15 days from receipt of the order why they should not be held reliable for such violations as well as subject the violative products or equipment to confiscation.

    “Failure to answer within the period herein granted shall be considered a waiver of the right of the respondent to be heard and the commission shall render as the law and evidence may warrant,” NTC warned.

    As of press time, the e-commerce platforms have not issued any statements on the matter.

    Last week, NTC started its investigation on complaints over text alerts promoting former senator Ferdinand “Bong bong” Marcos Jr., one of the presidential candidates in the national elections in 2022.

    The NTC had said emergency text blasts are only authorized for use by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in times of disasters.

    The telecom regulator imposes penalty of P2,000 per violation for individuals and P5,000 per violation for corporations.