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.