Senator Gatchalian sees mobile number portability to benefit subscribers, telco players

Published February 23, 2019, 7:14 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian believes that mobile users could easily move from their current service providers to the new major telecommunication player now that President Duterte already signed the new Mobile Number Portability Act (Republic Act 11202).

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a radio interview on Saturday afternoon, Gatchalian said the new major telco player could attract more subscribers following the signing of the RA 11202, which allows subscriber to keep their contact numbers for life.

This, as he said that mobile users would no longer have to be concerned about notifying their contacts should they want to switch between providers that offer better services.

“We are now hearing about a new telco player, and I am sure that it will offer [services in] low prices and many of us will be enticed to switch that we can move without having to change our numbers,” Gatchalian told DWIZ in Filipino.

“This means we can keep our number forever if there are other telcos that offer [better services],” he added.

The government, last November, declared the Mindanao Islamic Telephone (Mislatel) consortium of businessman Dennis Uy and state-owned China Telecom as the new major player that would break the duopoly in the country’s telecommunication sector.

Congress has given the green light for its roll-out as the third telco player.

But Gatchalian believes that the mobile portability law could also attract a possible “fourth player” if businesses knew that subscribers can switch between providers with “less hassle.”

Aside from the permanent mobile number, RA 11201 also removes the interconnection fees or the amount charged to subscribers when making calls to another subscriber of a different service provider.

Gatchalian hopes that the law will be implemented by the second quarter of the year.

He said we will all benefit from the newly-signed law, including overseas Filipino workers since they can “keep in touch” with their families here.