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VoIP International Simple Resale – is it now legal?

Atty. JJ Disini writes that the Supreme court has junked a criminal case filed by PLDT against third parties connecting VoIP-initiated calls to local landlines.

PLDT lost its Supreme Court case where it tried to float the idea that so-called “International Simple Resale” (ISR) constituted the crime of “theft” of telephone calls and/or PLDT’s business … The Supreme Court decision is a crushing defeat for PLDT since it ruled that telephone calls are not the property of PLDT, but to the callers themselves.

This sets an interesteing precedent in the local VoIP business setting. For instance, earlier reported was a case wherein Globe filed criminal complaints to a group that connected VoIP calls to local mobile phones. But now the VoIP-to-mobile operators can cite this case in their defense, with the Supreme Court, no less, making the ruling.

This doesn’t go the same for civil complaints, though.

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  • Even if it’s not illegal, the telcos can still opt to cut your PSTN lines and leave you hanging.

    Unless, you go for the ISR-friendly telcos …

    • Rich

      Hi Mpraraz,

      Do we have the law saying it is not illegal? ISR should be an alterative to the costly calls of these telcos.

  • wrencelot

    i dunno if this is anything related to this topic, but in my work i have this modem from Bell Canada connected to my regular telephone line (unit courtesy of Bayantel) and the other line is connected directly to my LAN (Local Area/Access Network), now with that i can make unlimited Long Distance Calls all over US, UK, and Canada at a very flat rate of no less than $30 CAD..

    and then one day, at bandcamp another one i applied to be a reseller of voip airtime calls, from a regular phone regular phoneline subscribers can make cheaper long distance calls by dialing a “switchboard” number.. then news like this will come out makes you realize that just like the government, pldt doesnt like competition..

  • Wrecelot, you’d need millions in bond deposit (deposit pa lang ha) to apply as a VoIP VAS reseller.

    And it’s there’s this one time, at band camp. 😛

  • wrencelot


    if i can remember correctly i am not require to deposit such.. it works like this: i will buy from them in bulk airtime, which i can subdivide and sell in retail, much like how a webhosting worx.. in retail i can sell it as low as 3-5 pesos/minute long distance.. now their lowest package is $2500 and f*uck that is one helluva money..

  • The deposit is for applying as a value added service provider w/ NTC/SEC.

    Check it out here. To summarize:

    * VoIP service providers are to have paid-up capitalization of at least PhP 10 million.
    * Each VoIP service provider is to post a performance bond of PhP 5 million, while resellers are to post a bond of PhP 1 million.

  • wrencelot

    well f*ck NTC, if pinoy can resell webhosting with hardwares that are all mashed up in the US, then whats the difference with VOIP..? if they are going to run it like that then yuga is in deep trouble.. ddnt they’ve heard of outsourcing..? if americans can outsource manpower, how come we cant outsource american technology and make a good money here while here in phil..? i say those are bullsh*t.. if pldt just ddnt come up with a 5 peso per minute long distance i would have grab it..

    and before someone would even ask me where is the proof i am talking about, im afraid its gonna be harder for me to retrieve that.. i do remember tho that the name of the company starts with a letter V..

  • The difference, unfortunately, is that telecoms has had laws for decades while Internet and web hosting have not.

  • I don’t think the case being mentioned is actually VOIP. It is more like Baynet purchasing a direct leased line and then turning around to resell it. Once they authenticate you, Baynet simply gives you the Philippine dial tone. Hence it is voice from end-to-end, unlike VOIP wherein there is a voice-to-data converstion.

  • Since VoIP is the easiest way to do ISR – you don’t need a leased line, even DSL will do – that’s what comes into mind.

  • “… VoIP is the easiest way to do ISR …”

    And the cheapest.

  • But when you look at it, when you use VOIP end-to-end there is no “reselling.” Unless you need to connect to a PSTN.

  • And in other news… 4 or 5 more VoIP providers are licensed by the NTC. I might post more about it.

  • If you are interested in VOIP services, check this link


    The services are great for Filipino expatriates abroad.

  • jgotangco

    they would probably rethink their strategies once WVoIP takes shape with the upcoming end to end IP management of UMTS release 5 in a few years.

  • Ren

    it’s definitely a big blow for PLDT and other telcos as well…they’re banking on the theft theory in order to claim damages in the criminal suit but then again the telcos can still cut you off and leave you hanging if they find you doing ISR citing NTC rules and regulations, mostly administrative in nature…the rules on Voip is crazy, why you need a lot of capitalization when you only need a smaller amount to set-up a VoiP business…why do they just face the issue with marketing strategies like lowering the IDD rate to just PhP 3 a minute…

  • Just want to update this article by informing that the Supreme Court has reversed itself in G.R. No. 155076 last January 13, 2009 so the case of theft in Criminal Case No. 99-2425 stands and probably under litigation at present.

  • ucman

    Hi All,
    Is it TEHO legal here in the Philippines. I cannot found a decent read regarding this. I need to know since one of client need this feature in VoIP network.

  • Rich

    Im wondering what happened to all these cases? I guess Philippines is not ready yet to be competitive in terms of the technology and innovation. These companies who established the ISR should actually be commended for doing these alternatives!