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Rules on lifetime mobile phone numbers to take effect on July 2

Starting July 2, 2019, subscribers of mobile telecommunications networks can have their phone numbers processed permanently for life regardless of the subscription or carrier, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The commission has released the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of the measure which allows portability or permanence of a cellular phone number even if the subscriber has switched to another service provider.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NTC said has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 03-06-2019 on the “Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act (RA) No. 11202 Otherwise Known as the ‘Mobile Number Portability Act’.”

President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11202 into law on February 8, 2019.

6 months to comply

Section 11 of RA 11202 states that within six months from the promulgation of the rules and regulations —which is on July 2—mobile service providers must comply with the provisions of the law and set up a mechanism for the purpose of implementing the Mobile Number Portability nationwide.

The NTC is mandated to implement nationwide the mobile number portability (MNP) law and issue the rules and regulation for the law.

The circular promotes “easy and expedient” mobile phone or device usage by allowing the convenient transfer of a mobile postpaid or prepaid subscriber from one service provider to another, or change the type of subscription from postpaid to prepaid or vice-versa, without changing the subscriber’s mobile number.

Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. said it will comply with the NTC’s implementing rules and regulations on Mobile Number Portability.

“Our team is working closely with the government and other telcos to put in place systems for the new law’s smooth implementation,” Globe said in a separate statement.

PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto said the Pangilinan-led telco supports the Mobile Number Portability and “will work with the government and industry partners to properly implement it.”

“We have, however, expressed our reservations on constitutional grounds regarding the rider provisions in the law, which removes interconnection fees between operators,” Isberto said. He did not elaborate.

According to the circular, every subscriber applying for MNP service should be qualified as follows:

  • no outstanding financial obligation with the donor provider 
  • the mobile number used in a device is not locked to any mobile service provider
  • 60 calendar days must have lapsed from the date of activation of the ported number
  • no pending request for transfer of assignment of the mobile number
  • no order from a court of law stopping the mobile number porting
  • not blacklisted by a service provider due to previous fraudulent activities

“A subscriber who intends to avail of the MNP service shall first request from donor provider a nine-digit unique subscriber code (USC) which is valid for 15 days,” the circular read.

“The subscriber shall submit his/her porting application (PA) indicating therein a valid USC to recipient provider (RP) in person or through a duly authorized representation, or online, or through an SMS via a five-digit access code,” it said.

Within 24 hours after receiving the application, the telco must either transmit the clearance to the other company preferred by the subscriber, or that the porting application has been rejected, or that the applicant still has outstanding financial obligation.

The porting process should be completed within 48 hours after a telco receives the application as long as the subscriber has no outstanding financial obligation or has not been rejected, the NTC said.

Postpaid and prepaid subscribers of the same mobile network may also go for the MNP service, with the application processed within 24 hours subject to existing policies of the telco.

The NTC emphasized that no fees and charges will be collected from subscribers applying for MNP service.

The memorandum circular will take effect on July 2, 2019. —Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News