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Bicam panel approves bill on lifetime cellphone number

/ 05:03 PM November 13, 2018

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian. INQUIRER.net file photo / Cathy Miranda

The bicameral conference committee on Tuesday approved the bill seeking to allow subscribers to keep their mobile phone numbers for life, in time for the entry of the third telecommunications company in the country.

Under the Mobile Number Portability Act, also known as Lifetime Cellphone Number Act, subscribers will be able to keep their mobile numbers even if they change service providers.

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“Itong batas ay naaprubahan na… Kung ang third telco ay nagbaba ng presyo, nagbigay ng mas magandang service, hindi na tayo mahihirapang lumipat sa kahit anong telco,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, author of the bill, said in a chance interview.

(The law has been approved. If the third telco offered lower prices or better services, we will not find a hard time to switch to whichever telco.)

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According to Gatchalian, the law will also improve competition in the telecommunications industry in the country.

He said the Senate gave six months for the National Telecommunications Commission to devise implementing rules and regulations before the law can be implemented.

“Based on our hearing, possible na ito kasi marami nang bansa ang gumagawa nito (this is possible since a lot of other countries are also doing this),” he said.

Gatchalian also said the law will deal with the difficulty that the third telco might face in attracting subscribers, as some consumers may find it inconvenient to switch to another service provider.

He warned that telecommunications company that will refuse the transfer of mobile numbers may be fined of up to P40 million or have their franchise revoked. /jpv

RELATED STORY: Gatchalian pushes for 3 telco bills to end duopoly

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