Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why it's hard to do business in the Phils

A client of ours, a wholesaler and retailer of computer parts and accessories, received a subpoena from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for violating the Radio Control Law. How a computer wholesaler and retailer can fall under the weak arms of the NTC puzzled me for a moment until I read the charges.

Apparently, under the Radio Control Law, retailers of Bluetooth devices and WIFI routers and WIFI capable laptops should register with the NTC before they can sell these devices. I browsed at the requirements for registration, and two items stuck out as unreasonable. The NTC is requiring that the shops should employ a supervising licensed Electronics Communications Engineer (ECE) and a technician with a first class radiotelephone operator’s certificate. My client blurted out that this is crazy, because USB devices and WIFI routers are incidental items in computer retailing, and for them to be required to hire a full-time ECE and radio technician for these incidental items is too burdensome. Indeed, there is no argument that Bluetooth devices and WIFI routers should be registered with the NTC. But to require retailers to hire fulltime ECE’s and radio technicians? That’s really going to push prices for these computer peripherals upwards. Either that or the computer retailers will take Bluetooth devices and WIFI gadgets out of their inventories and push them over to the radio retailers (if you can find any). So if you are going to buy a computer, you will buy it with the computer shop, but if you want Bluetooth or WIFI, you have to find a licensed radio retailer, who must employ an ECE and a radio technician to sell you Bluetooth and WIFI.

Why is it hard to do business in the Philippines? Too. Much. Government.


Edward Robinson Serrano said...

Sir Marvin,

I just want to know when I could get a final exam in securities? I hope sir that you would give me a chance to complete it because I might take the bar next year, if I would graduate.
By the way sir, Atty. Fabros is the new dean, we hope that you will teach again if the circimstances permit so...
Thank you Sir! and God Bless!

acidboy said...

they brought out a study recently on how long it takes for somebody to establish a business entity in the ASEAN countries... guess which country takes the longest, and is the costliest to set up shop in.

bw said...

This is just too ludicrous and speaks of the stupidity of the people at the NTC. Bluetooth and wireless routers are plug and play devices. Customers must have the option to install it themselves or solicit the services of the store they are buying from. The store may do it or not and if it does, won't be soliciting the services of a licensed ECE but an IT PC specialist.

PC accessories are sold on the premise that the products are safe to use and users are literate enough to be able to install and configure them. There's no point of looking at these things from a public safety point of view, hence the licensing requirement. The NTC's actions stems from sheer ignorance and the thirst for control for everything they can grab on to.

marvin said...
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marvin said...

You said it bw. I'm working on my client's compliance now, and my primary problem is to find ECE's and trained technicians who can handle USB bluetooth devices. Ha ha ha. I didn't know one needed a special training to sell bluetooth. My 5 year old son knows it's all a matter of pressing the right button.