You Don’t Have to Change Phone Numbers Anymore, according to PH Senate
The Philippine Senate has approved Senate Bill No. 1636 or the “Lifetime Cellphone Number Act” which allows telco users to keep their phone numbers for life. The decision is a clean yes, with zero abstention from the Senate.
As reported by CNN Philippines, the bill dictates that public telecommunications entities (PTEs) in the Philippines should provide consumers with mobile number portability, allowing them to transfer from one network provider to another free of charge. Cellphone users can also change their subscription plan, from postpaid accounts to prepaid ones under the same bill.
“The bill would give consumers them the freedom to choose the provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs and author/sponsor of the act, said.
PTEs are given 24 hours to implement; failure to comply can result in fines up to P1 million. The bill also orders PTEs to make sure that their user’s profiles are safe and confidential, in accordance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Gatchalian said that given the expected entry of new telecommunications players, cellphone numbers should become an extension of every subscriber’s so-called digital identity, “so that consumer loyalty will not be determined by the fear of losing their numbers but through the dynamism of competition among players.”