With subscribers now allowed to keep their mobile phone number for life, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) foresees a more vibrant competition between telecommunication service providers.
Under the recently-signed Republic Act 11202 or the Mobile Number Portability Act, consumers will be able to keep their mobile number even if they switch service providers or change their subscription to postpaid to prepaid, and vice versa – free of charge.
“We hail the passage of this game-changing policy, which shifts the telecommunication services paradigm to be more consumer-centric,” acting DICT secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. said.
“The law will cultivate a sense of urgency for telcos to deliver only the best service since subscribers now won’t hesitate to choose what’s best for their money’s worth,” Rio added.
Aside from keeping their numbers, consumers would also not be charged any interconnection fees for domestic calls and texts.
The DICT will help in the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law, in coordination with the implementing agency National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and other involved institutions during the 90-day period from its effectivity.
Rio, though, noted that the DICT will continue to work on policies that are lined up to stimulate competition and further improve telecommunication services.
“We look forward to policies like the Open Access and Spectrum Management to also get the same attention from our legislators in order to ride the momentum we are on now,” the acting DICT chief said.
For his part, NPC chair Raymund Liboro said the law gives data subjects control over their data which is a basic tenet under the Data Privacy Act.
“The National Privacy Commission supports the proper implementation of this law which promotes consumer welfare and fosters innovation and competition in the telecommunications industry,” Liboro said in a statement.
“We likewise recognize this measure as an embodiment of the right to data portability provided under Section 18 of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA). This right gives data subjects the mechanism to obtain their personal data in an electronic or structured format from personal information controllers, if such personal data is being processed through electronic means, and enables the further use of such personal data by the data subjects.”
Liboro said the NPC will work with the NTC and all concerned agencies tasked to implement the law and provide additional inputs in the crafting of the IRR and other policies.