House approves perpetual phone number

Published September 11, 2018, 8:49 PM

by Roel Tibay


By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill that would allow post and pre-paid subscribers to perpetually retain their contact number regardless of the telecom service provider.

House Bill 7652 (Mobile Telephone Portability Act) won the approval of 216 congressmen who were present during Monday’s plenary session.

The bill consolidated seven legislative proposals filed by Reps. Alfred Vargas (PDP-Laban, Quezon City); Lord Allan Velasco (PDP-Laban, Marinduque); Isagani Zarate (Bayan MunaPartylist) and Wes Gatchalian (NPC, Valenzuela City), among others.

HB 7652 requires all public telecommunications entities (PTE) to provide the subscribers the option to retain their numbers at no extra cost.

Vargas, a senior member of the House Committee in Information and Communications Technology, said Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will be allowed only if the subscriber has duly registered his name and mobile telephone number with the originating service provider and does not have existing obligation with the said provider.

“Through this, we are giving back to the mobile subscribers the power of consumer choice; the freedom to choose the network provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers,” explained Vargas.

The QC lawmaker added: “Furthermore, this measure will attract more telecommunications players to enter the Philippine market, therefore, encouraging competition.”

On the other hand, Velasco explained that the PTE is enjoined to provide nationwide MNP to all qualified subscribers and barred from installing network features and capabilities that will impede the implementation of the nationwide MNP system.

According to Velasco the recipient provider is enjoined to transmit the MNP application to the donor provider for the purpose of clearing the mobile number for porting and activate within 24 hours the subscriber’s ported number under its network.

The donor provider is mandated to transmit the notice of clearance to the Recipient Provider within24 hours upon receipt of the request for porting. It is also directed to notify the subscriber and the recipient provider that the mobile number to be ported has an existing financial obligation with the donor provider.

Persons found guilty of violating the provisions of the measure will be liable to a fine ranging from P100,000 to P300,000 for the first offense; P400,000 to P600,000 for the second and P700,000 to P1 million for subsequent offenses.

The bill also mandates the revocation of the PTE’s franchise to operate if found to have violated the measure more than twice.