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Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. vs.

International
Communication Corporation, G.R. No. 135992, an. 31, 2!!"
#$CT%&
The Court has promulgated a decision wherein it required respondent to
make 20% escrow deposit and to post 10% performance bond. Respondent asks
for partial reconsideration of those portions further claiming that Section 2 of
!TC "C !o. 11#$#$% pertains onl& to applications filed under the '.(. !o. 10$
and not to applications )oluntar& filed. *n it+s "anifestation to support the motion
for partial reconsideration, respondent attached letter from -eput& Commissioner
(*C .officer in charge /eceta of !TC stating that 00000 escrow deposit and
performance bond were required to public telecommunications entities to ensure that the
mandated installation of local e0change lines are installed within three .%1 &ears pursuant to '(
10$ and R2 $23. Since &our compan& has alread& complied with its obligation b& the installation
of more than %00,000 lines in 4ue5on Cit&, "alabon Cit& and 6alen5uela Cit& in the !ational
Capital Region and Region 6 in earl& 1$$, the escrow deposit and performance bond were not
required in &our subsequent authori5ations 0000000
*n a resolution, Court required petitioners and !TC to file their comments on
the motion, Subsequentl& the (S7 in behalf of !TC, declared that it full& agrees
with respondent that escrow deposits and performance bond are not required in
subsequent authori5ations for additional8 new areas outside its original roll out
obligation under the Ser)ice 2rea Scheme of '.(. no. 10$.
9etitioner did not file an& comment it was onl& after the Court issued a show
cause and compliance Resolution on (ct, 2003 that petitioners manifested in
their 'ntr& of Special 2ppearance, "anifestation and Compliance that the& ha)e
not further comments on the motion for partial recon.
I%%'E& :(! interpretation of the !TC .Sec. 2 of !TC "C !o. 11#$#$%1
regarding the escrow deposit and performance bond shall pertain onl& to original
roll#out obligation under '.(. no 10$;
(E)*& +E%. The Court holds that the interpretation of the !TC that Section 2
of !TC "C !o. 11#$#$% regarding the escrow deposit and performance bond
shall pertain onl& to a local e0change operator<s original roll#out obligation under
'.(. !o. 10$, and not to roll,out o-li.ations ma/e un/er su-se0uent or
voluntar1 applications outsi/e E.2. No. 1!9, should be sustained.
The Court has obser)ed in its -ecision that Section 2 of !TC "C !o. 11#$#
$% is silent as to whether the posting of an escrow deposit and performance bond
is a condition sine qua non for the grant of a pro)isional authorit&.
The (S7 agreed with respondent<s stance that since the pro)isional authorit& in
this case in)ol)es a )oluntar& application not co)ered b& the original ser)ice
areas created b& the !TC under '.(. !o. 10$, then it is not sub=ect to the
posting of an escrow deposit and performance bond as required b& '.(. !o. 10$,
-ut onl1 to the con/itions provi/e/ in the provisional authorit1.
The !TC, being the go)ernment agenc& entrusted with the regulation of acti)ities
coming under its special and technical forte, and possessing the necessar& rule#
making power to implement its ob=ecti)es,is in the best position to interpret its
own rules, regulations and guidelines. The Court has consistentl1 1iel/e/ an/
accor/e/ .reat respect to the interpretation -1 a/ministrative a.encies o3
their o4n rules unless there is an error of law, abuse of power, lack of
=urisdiction or gra)e abuse of discretion clearl& conflicting with the letter and spirit
of the law.
The interpretation o3 an a.enc1 o3 its o4n rules shoul/ -e .iven more
4ei.ht than the interpretation -1 that a.enc1 o3 the la4 it is merel1 tas5e/
to a/minister. Thus, in cases 4here the /ispute concerns the interpretation
-1 an a.enc1 o3 its o4n rules, one shoul/ appl1 onl1 these stan/ar/s&
67hether the /ele.ation o3 po4er 4as vali/8 4hether the re.ulation 4as
4ithin that /ele.ation8 an/ i3 so, 4hether it 4as a reasona-le re.ulation
un/er a /ue process test.9