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Smart closure order bad for business, subscribers

Digital Pinoys

A network of digital advocates said today that the closure order imposed by the City Government of Makati against Smart Communications is bad for business and its subscribers.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the closure order may have an effect to other businesses as well.

“What stops City Hall from doing the same to other large businesses in the area, supposedly over operating without a business permit and unpaid franchise taxes?”

Smart Communications was issued a cease and desist order last week, February 23, supposedly for non payment of “Franchise Tax” and operating without a business permit.

Gustilo said that the City Government cannot bill Smart for Franchise Tax as it is payable only to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Gustilo added that the speedy serving of the closure order is irregular.

“With this kind of blitzkrieg operations by City Hall officials, we highly doubt that it had ever provided notice to the telecoms provider to settle its business permit issues, assuming that Smart had indeed failed to secure business permits in the last four years.”

Gustilo also said that Makati City and Smart should sit down, talk and settle the matter in a way that will ensure the subscribers of continuous services not leave a bad taste to the business sector and discourage future investors.

“We are hoping that the subscribers will not be disadvantaged because of this issue. And are also hoping that this will not scare away investors and the business sector operating in Makati as it will have a ripple effect economically, which could be bigger than what Makati wants to get from Smart.”

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner, www.digitalpinoys.org

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