The National Telecommunications Commission ordered Facebook Marketplace, Lazada, and Shopee Philippines to stop selling text blast machines as it’s illegal.
Last Tuesday, the NTC filed a show cause and cease and desist orders against Lazada E-Services Philippines Inc., Shopee Philippines, and Facebook Philippines (Marketplace). The said orders were dated October 11, 2021.
The orders came after it’s been reported that such illegal radio equipment can be easily purchased on popular online shopping websites.
In the orders, the NTC made clear that they did not authorize the importation, manufacture, sale, and distribution of devices such as SMS Location Blasting System, Hitech SMS Blaster, and other similar devices found on the trio’s platforms.
It also said that the sale of such equipment is in violation of Republic Act 3846 or The Radio Control Law. Plus, other rules and regulations like the Memorandum Order 01-02-2013 or the Prohibition of Portable Cellular Mobile Repeater and Portable Cell Site Equipment.
As per the Radio Control Law, an NTC permission and Congressional franchise are required to operate such radio stations. This is why Lazada, Shopee, and Facebook Marketplace are being ordered to end the sale of such devices.
Also, the three are ordered to appear before the Commission on October 27 with a written explanation about why they shouldn’t be “held liable for such violations as well as subject the violative products/equipment to confiscation and forfeiture.”
For a quick background, text blasts machines are box-like devices that can send messages to up to 100,000 people per hour within a target location. It’s completely free of telco charges but each machine costs around Php200,000 to Php3 million.
A seller told Inquirer that their top buyers are politicians and political groups.