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[Act No. 3317, (1926-12-04)](http://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l41db)
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[ Act No. 3317, December 04, 1926 ]

AN ACT GRANTING TO "THE NEGROS TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY" A FRANCHISE TO INSTALL, OPERATE, AND MAINTAIN A TELEPHONE SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND OF NEGROS.



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Legislature assembled and by the authority of the same:

SECTION 1. Subject to the conditions established.in this Act and the provisions of Act Numbered Thirty-one hundred and eight and amendments thereof, applicable thereto, there is hereby granted to "The Negros Telephone and Telegraph Company," its successors or assigns, for a period of twenty-five years, which may be extended for another twenty-five years from the approval of this Act, the right, privilege, and authority to construct, maintain, and operate within the limits of the Island of Negros and in the provinces and municipalities a telephone system to carry on the business of the electrical transmission of messages and signals in and between said provinces and municipalities, and for the purpose of operating said telephone system and transmitting messages and signals by means of electricity, to construct telephone lines in and between said provinces and municipalities and to lay, place, operate, and maintain telephone cables between the surrounding islands, to construct, maintain, and operate and use all apparatus, conduits, and appliances necessary for the electrical transmission of  messages and signals, to erect poles, string wires, build conduits, lay cables, and to construct, maintain, and use such other approved and  generally accepted means of electrical conduction in, on, over, or under the public roads, highways, lands, bridges, rivers, streets, lanes, and side-walks of said provinces and municipalities,  and overhead or underground lines or on the surface of the ground, and to lay submarine telephone cables in the surrounding waters between the  Island of Negros and other islands, as may be necessary and best adapted to said transmission: Provided, however, That all poles erected and all conduits constructed or used by the grantee, its successors or assigns, shall be located in places designated by provincial or municipal authorities, as the case may be, and poles shall be erected in a workmanlike manner to the satisfaction of such authorities: And provided, further, That upon reasonable notice" and by resolution of the proper Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities, the grantee, its successors or assigns may be required to relocate poles or remove or raise wires or other conductors so as to permit the passage of buildings or other structures from one place to another, one-half the actual cost of such relocation of poles or raising or removal of wires or other conductors to be paid by the person at whose  instance the building or structure is moved; and, at the expense of the grantee, its successors or assigns, to relocate conduits, poles, and wires and to raise or remove wires or other conductors when the Insular Government or any provincial or municipal government declares, on recommendation of the proper authorities, that the public interest so requires: Provided, finally, That from any order or regulation of a  provincial or municipal government requiring the grantee, its successors or assigns, to relocate conduits, poles, or wires, or to raise or remove wires or other conductors, the said grantee, its successors or assigns, shall have the right of appeal to the Governor-General, whose decision in the matter shall be final and conclusive.

Should the grantee, its successors or assigns, fail, refuse, or neglect within a reasonable time to relocate its poles, conduits, wires, or other conductors, or to raise its wires or other conductors when so directed by the proper Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities, then said authorities may relocate said poles, conduits, wires, or other conductors or raise said wires or other conductors at the expense of the grantee, its successors or assigns: Provided, That the installation of all instruments, the inside wiring, and all outside construction work shall be done in accordance with the rules, regulations, or ordinances covering electrical work adopted by the Insular, provincial or municipal authorities: Provided, further, That whenever twenty-five or more pairs of wires or other conductors are carried on one line of poles in any city or municipal center, said wires or conductors shall be placed in one cable and that whenever more  than two hundred and fifty pairs of wires or other conductors are  carried on one line of poles, said cables shall be placed underground by the grantee, its successors or assigns, whenever ordered so to do by the proper Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities: And provided, finally, That the poles erected, wires and cables strung, or conduits laid by virtue of this franchise  shall be so placed as not to impair the efficient and effective transmission of messages or signals by any other company whose poles are erected, whose wires and cables are strung, or whose conduits are actually laid at the time that poles are to be erected, wires and cables are to be strung, or conduits are to be laid under and by virtue of this franchise.

SEC. 2. The grantee may install, maintain, and operate radio-telephone  equipment to furnish an economic means of telephonic communication between the Island of Negros and the telephone systems of the               surrounding islands: Provided, That the location, installation or operation of any such radio-telephonic equipment must be previously approved by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications: And provided, further, That the Secretary of Commerce and Communications shall have authority to supervise and regulate the installation or operation of  such radio-telephonic equipment. This privilege to install, maintain, and operate radio-telephonic equipment shall not be construed" to authorize the broadcasting of any message by the radio-graphic equipment or the transmission of radio-telegraphic messages.

SEC. 3. The poles erected by the grantee shall be of such a height as to maintain the wire? stretched on the same at a height of at least fifteen feet above the level of the ground, and shall be placed so as not to be a danger for the public safety, in accordance with a plan approved by the provincial or municipal authorities concerned, represented by the provincial governor or the municipal president, as the case may be, and said grantee shall supply telephone service in any municipality where it may have established a telephone central to any applicant for the same, within thirty days after the date of his application, and as between such applicant and "other like applicants,  in the order of the date of  his application, up to the limit of the capacity of the telephone system of said grantee, to be determined by the electrical engineer of the Public Utility Commission on the application of said grantee, and should the demand for telephone service at any time increase beyond the capacity of the telephone  system of said grantee to supply the same, the capacity of said telephone system shall be increased by said grantee to meet such demand, in accordance with the decision of the Public Utility  Commission or its legal successor: Provided, That in case the point at which the telephone service is to be supplied, is more than one hundred meters from the lines or wires of the local central operated by said grantee, the latter shall not be obliged to furnish said service, unless the applicant for telephone service defrays the actual expense for the poles and wire necessary to install and maintain such service.

SEC. 4. For the purpose of erecting and maintaining poles or other supports for said wires or other conductors or for the purpose of laying and maintaining underground said wires, cables, or other conductors, it shall be unlawful for the  grantee, its successors or assigns, without such orders as may be prescribed by Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities, to make excavations or lay  conduits in any of the public places, lands, roads, highways, streets,
lanes, alleys, avenues, sidewalks, or bridges of said province: Provided, however. That any public place, road, high way, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk or bridge disturbed, altered, or changed by reason of the erection of poles or other supports, or the laying underground of wires or other conductors or of conduits shall be repaired and replaced in a workmanlike manner by said grantee, its successors or assigns, to the satisfaction of the Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities, as the case may be. Should the grantee its successors or assigns, after reasonable written notice from said authorities, fail, refuse, or neglect to repair or replace any part of a public place, road, highway, street, lane, alley, avenue, sidewalk or  bridge altered, changed, or disturbed by said grantee, its successors or assigns, then the Insular, provincial, or municipal authorities, as the case may be, shall have the right to have the same repaired and placed in good order and condition at the cost and expense of the grantee, its successors or assigns.

SEC.  5. All telephone lines and systems for the transmission of messages and signals owned, maintained, or operated by the grantee, its successors or assigns, shall be operated and maintained at all times in a complete, modern, and first-class style as understood in the United States, and it shall be the further duty of said grantee, its successors or assigns, whenever required to do so by the Public Utility
Commission to modify, improve, and change such telephone system or systems, for the transmission of messages and signals by means of electricity, in such manner and to such extent as the progress of science and improvements in the method of transmission of messages and signals by means of electricity may make reasonable and proper.

SEC. 6. The grantee, its successors or assigns, shall keep a separate  account of the gross receipts of the telephone and electrical transmission business transacted by it in the capital of Bacoiod and in each of the municipalities of the two provinces of the Island of Negros, and shall furnish to the Insular Auditor and the Insular Treasurer a copy of such account not later than the thirty-first day of July of each year for the twelve months preceding the first day of July.

SEC. 7. The grantee, its successors or assigns, shall be liable to pay the same taxes on their real estate, buildings, and personal property, inclusive of this franchise, as other persons or corporations are now or hereafter may be required by law to pay. In addition, the grantee, its successors or assigns, shall pay to the Insular Treasurer each year, within ten days after the audit and approval of the accounts as prescribed in section six of this franchise, one per centum of all  gross receipts of the telephone or other electrical transmission business transacted under this franchise by the grantee, its successors or assigns, and the said percentage shall be in lieu of all taxes on this franchise.

SEC.  8. As a guaranty that this franchise has been accepted in good faith and that within eighteen months from the date of the acceptance  hereof the grantee, its successors or assigns, will be fully equipped and ready to operate according to the terms of this franchise fifty telephones in the municipalities of Silay and  Talisay, the said grantee shall deposit at the time of such acceptance, with the Insular Treasurer, twenty-five thousand pesos, or negotiable bonds of the United States or other securities, approved by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications, of the face value of twenty-five thousand pesos: Provided, That if the deposit is made in money the same shall be deposited at interest in some interest-paying bank approved by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications, and all interest accruing and due on such deposit shall be collected by the Insular Treasurer and paid to the grantee, its successors or assigns, on demand: And provided, further, That if the deposit made with the Insular Treasurer be in negotiable bonds of the United States or other interest-bearing securities approved by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications, the interest on such bonds or securities shall be collected by the Insular Treasurer and paid over to the grantee, its successors or assigns, on demand.

Should the said grantee, its successors or assigns, for any other cause than the act of God, the public enemy, usurped or military power, martial law, riot, civil commotion, or inevitable cause, fail, refuse, or neglect to begin within eighteen months from the date of the acceptance of this franchise the business of transmitting messages by telephone, or fail, refuse, or neglect to be fully equipped and ready to operate within eighteen months from the date of the acceptance of this franchise fifty telephones in the municipalities of Silay and Talisay, according to the terms of this franchise, then the deposit prescribed by this section to be made with the Insular Treasurer, whether in money, bonds, or other securities, shall become the property of the Insular Government, as liquidated damages caused to such Government by such failure, refusal, or neglect, and thereafter no interest on said bonds or other securities deposited shall be paid to the grantee, its successors or assigns. Should the said grantee, its successors or assigns, begin the business of transmitting messages by telephone and be ready to operate according to the terms of this franchise fifty telephones in the municipalities of Silay and Talisay within eighteen months from the date of the acceptance of this franchise, then and in that event the deposit prescribed by this section shall be returned by the Insular Government to the grantee, its successors or assigns, upon recommendation of the  Public Utility Commission, as soon as the telephone system has been installed in accordance with the terms of this franchise: Provided, further, That all the time during which the grantee, its  successors or assigns, may be prevented from carrying out the terms and conditions of this franchise by any of said causes shall be added to the time allowed  by this franchise for compliance with its provisions.

SEC. 9. This franchise shall not take effect until the grantee shall  have obtained from the Public Utility Commission a certificate showing the public necessity and convenience of the same, in accordance with the purpose of section twenty-two of Act Numbered Thirty-one hundred
and eight, and shall have filed such certificate with the Secretary of Commerce and Communications upon accepting this franchise: Provided, further, That if the grantee does not file the proper application for said certificate with the Public Utility Commission within three months from the date of the approval of this Act, this franchise shall become null and void.

SEC. 10. The books and accounts of the grantee, its successors or assigns, shall always be open to the inspection of the district auditor or his authorized representative, and it shall be the duty of the grantee to submit to the Insular Auditor quarterly reports in duplicate showing the gross receipts and the net receipts for the quarter past and the general condition of the business.

SEC. 11. The rights herein granted shall not be exclusive, and the right and power to grant to any corporation, association, or person other than the grantee franchises for the telephonic or electrical transmission of messages or signals shall not be impaired or affected by the granting of this franchise: Provided, That the poles erected, wires strung or conduits laid by virtue of any franchise for telephone or other electrical transmission of messages and signals granted subsequent to this franchise shall be so placed as not to impair the  efficient and effective transmission of messages or signals under this franchise by means of poles erected, wires strung, or conduits actually laid and in existence at the time  of the granting of said subsequent franchise: And provided, further, That the Public Utility Commission, after hearing both parties interested, may compel the grantee of this franchise or its successors or assigns, to remove, relocate or replace its poles, wires or conduits; but in such case the reasonable cost of the removal, relocation or replacement shall be paid by the grantee of the subsequent franchise or his successors or assigns to the grantee of this franchise or its successors or assigns.

SEC. 12. The grantee shall be liable for any injury arising from any claims caused by accidents to person or property by reason of the  construction under this franchise or of any neglect or omission to keep the said poles and wires in a safe condition.

SEC. 13.  Within ninety days after obtaining the certificate of public convenience, the grantee shall file with the Secretary of Commerce and  Communications its written acceptance of this franchise and of all the  terms and conditions hereof, and the grantee shall begin the construction of its telephone system in the municipalities of Silay and Talisay within six months from the date of its acceptance of this franchise and shall begin the business of transmitting message by  telephone and be fully equipped and ready to operate at least fifty  telephones in said municipalities within eighteen months from the date of its acceptance of this franchise unless prevented by act of God, the public enemy, usurped or military power, martial law, riot, civil commotion, or inevitable cause.

SEC. 14. The concession of the right, privilege, and authority mentioned in the preceding sections shall not take effect unless the grantee shall accept in writing and make part of this concession the following condition, to wit: That the grantee, and its successors and assigns state in writing that they are informed of the aspiration of the Filipino people to become a free and independent nation: and that said grantee and its successors and assigns bind themselves not to engage in or aid, by means of contributor in cash or otherwise, anything contrary to said aspiration,

SEC. 15. The rates for the telephone service, flat rate as well as meter rate, fixed by the grantee, shall always be subject to regulation by act of the Philippine Legislature or by the entities authorized by law, and shall be based on the rates established in the United States for similar long distance service. The long distance rate in the service between stations shall not be in excess of two centavos per
kilometer of circuit route, based on an initial period of two minutes.  The minimum long distance charge shall be not less than forty centavos.
The monthly rates for telephones having an individual; and metallic circuit within the limits of the poblacion of the municipality shall in no case exceed the following: Desk telephones, for business, fifteen  pesos; wall telephone, for business, fourteen pesos; desk telephone, for residence, nine pesos; wall telephone, for residence, eight. pesos; private branch exchange board, fifteen pesos; P.B.0. Trunk Line, twenty-two pesos station on private branch exchange board, desk station, five pesos; wall stations, four pesos.

SEC. 16. The rates charged by the grantee, its successors or assigns  shall be subject to regulation by the Public Utility Commission, and the right is hereby reserved to the Government of the Philippine Islands to regulate the rates to be charged by the grantee, its successors or assigns, but any rates which shall be fixed shall be sufficient to yield a reasonable return to the grantee, its successors or assigns, upon the capital invested after making due allowance for maintenance, operation and other necessary  expenses.

SEC. 17. The grantee may transfer, sell, or assign this franchise to any person, or association, company, corporation or other mercantile or legal entity formed, organized, or existing under the laws of the  Philippine Islands or of any State or  Territory of the United States, and such corporation shall have the right to buy and to own said franchise, but the grantee shall not sell, transfer, or assign this franchise to any other person, firm, company, corporation, or other commercial or legal entity, without the written approval of the Philippine Legislature first had. Any corporation to which this franchise may be sold, transferred, or assigned shall be subject to the corporation laws of the Philippine Islands now existing or hereafter enacted, and any person, firm, company, corporation, or other commercial or legal entity to which this franchise is sold, transferred, or assigned shall be subject to all the conditions, terms,  restrictions, and limitations of this franchise as fully and  completely and to the same extent as if the franchise had been originally granted to the said persons, firm, company, corporation, or other commercial or legal y entity: Provided, however, That twenty years after this Act takes effect, the Government of the Philippine Islands shall have the right to purchase the telephone system and all  its equipment and appurtenances, as herein provided, at a price equivalent to the actual value thereof as shown on the books of the  company on the date of the purchase: Provided, further, That in case of  any national emergency affecting and compromising the public order and safety, the Government of the Philippine Islands shall have the right to take possession of the telephone system provided for in this Act, and to operate the same until the termination of such emergency.

SEC. 18. The grantee, its successors or assigns shall not, without the permission of the Public Utility Commissioner first had, issue stock or bonds under this franchise except in exchange for actual cash or  property at a fair valuation equal to the par value of the stock or bonds issued, and said grantee, its successors or assigns shall not declare any stock or bond dividend.

SEC. 19. The Philippine Government shall have the privilege, without compensation, of using the poles of the grantee for the purpose of installing, maintaining, and operating telegraph lines, and the municipalities shall have the privilege, without compensation, of  using the poles of the grantee to install, maintain and operate a police telephone and fire alarm system; but the wires of such telegraph lines or fire alarm system shall be placed and strung in such manner as  to cause no interference with or damage to the wires of the telephone service of the grantee.

SEC.  20. This franchise is granted with the understanding and upon the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress of the United States as provided in section twenty-eight of the Act of Congress approved August twenty-ninth, nineteen
hundred and sixteen, entitled "An Act to declare the purpose of the  people of the United States as to the future political status of the people of the Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous  government for those Islands," and that it shall be subject, in all respects, to the limitations upon corporations and the granting of franchises contained in said Act of Congress, and that all lands or rights of use or occupation of lands secured by virtue of this franchise shall revert upon its termination to the Insular, provincial, or municipal governments which were the owners thereof upon the date on which this franchise was granted.

The foregoing provisions and all other terms and provisions of section  seventy-four of the Act  of Congress approved July first, nineteen hundred and two, applicable to the grantees of franchises or concessions or their successors or assigns, are hereby incorporated in and made part of these presents, with the same effect as if they were
expressed herein.

SEC. 21. Wherever in this franchise the term "grantee" is used, it shall be held and understood to mean and represent "The Negros Telephone and Telegraph Company," its representatives, successors or assigns.

SEC. 22. This Act shall take effect on its approval.

Approved, December  4, 1926.


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