May Forever Na sa Mobile Number after The Lifetime Cellphone Number Act Approval
May forever na, at least with the mobile phone numbers you use because The Senate has approved the final reading for the bill called the Lifetime Cellphone Number Act.
The act which is formally known as Senate Bill No. 1636 will empower phone users to maintain a number of their choice regardless of changing mobile provider or subscription plans. It was authored AND sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who also heads the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs. During the third reading for the act, it garnered 20 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and interestingly enough, no senator abstained from voting.
One key factor of Gatchalian’s act is push telcos operating in the Philippines to offer users with MNP or a mobile number portability. This means that everybody gets the chance to retain an existing mobile number even when switching carriers or when shifting from postpaid to prepaid (and vice versa).
The bill would give consumers them the freedom to choose the provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers.
Under this new Senate bill, the delay or witholding or refusal of getting MPN within 24 hours after filing the request/ completing the application could get telcos in trouble. As in a million pesos worth of trouble or worse, the “total revocation of their operating franchises.”
Telcos like Globe and Smart will also have to do some heavy lifting as they are also mandated by the bill to provide “sufficient and relevant” information on how to avail of the MNP, including application requirements and the porting process. I can already hear these two carriers going “aray” with the announcement that was passed on Monday, February 19.
And to make the bill airtight, Sentaor Panfilo Lacson also amended the bill to remove possible “interconnectivity” fees that could be passed by telcos on subscribers before or after the MNP. That would mean you shouldn’t be charged for calls that you make to other networks when you registered your number.
The bill noted that the nationwide MNP system would also promote competition among telecommunications entities, and stimulate them to “provide consumers with the best overall value that they can offer.”
“It will also foster technological innovation that will lead to an even greater demand for telecommunications products and services, and lead to a virtuous cycle of economic growth,” the bill said.
Expect more of The Lifetime Cellphone Number Act to come front and center sooner than you expect!