House ratifies mobile number portability bill
Mobile users may soon keep their mobile numbers even if they switch to another service provider after the House of Representatives ratified the proposed “Lifetime Cellphone Number Act” on Tuesday.
The chamber’s ratification of the reconciled version of Senate Bill No. 1636 and House Bill No. 7652 came days after the bicameral conference committee approved it last November 13.
Under the reconciled measure, mobile subscribers could retain their existing mobile number when moving from one mobile service provider to another or changing the type of subscription from postpaid to prepaid or vice versa, all for free.
The entire process of porting a number from one service provider to another should not take more than 48 hours, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, principal author and sponsor of SB 1636 said.
For mobile subscribers who wanted to change their type of subscription from postpaid to prepaid and vice versa, he said the porting process should not take more than 24 hours.
The bill will also remove the interconnection fees charged to subscribers for calling or texting across different networks, according to the lawmaker.
Mobile service providers may be penalized with the maximum fine of up to P1 million and revocation of the public telecommunications entity’s operating franchises if they unjustly refuse to provide mobile number portability services to a subscriber even after mediation.
The bill only needs the Senate’s ratification before it could be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature and enactment into law. /ee