Congress approves Mobile Number Portability Act

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DAVAO CITY (September 10)—  The House of Representatives today approved on third and final reading a  measure allowing mobile phone users to retain their numbers even when switching network providers.

All of the  216 lawmakers present in the session  voted  House Bill 7652, also known as  “Mobile Number Portability Act”.

House Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Committee Chairman Rep. Victor A. Yap of the Second District of Tarlac said the mobile-number portability bill (MNP) allows phone subscribers to shift from one network to another, as well as switch from postpaid to prepaid subscription or vice versa, without having to change their mobile numbers.

Under the proposed bill, telecommunications companies and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will work together to formulate a system that will ensure the enforcement of the MNP bill.

The bill also states that while a subscriber’s move to a different network is being processed, the donor provider must continue providing them with all mobile telecommunications services until an otherwise specified date.

Yap describes  “This bill is  revolutionary,  it would break the dominance of current telcos in the industry. It can benefit new and small players, spur competition and improve PTEs’ service, which would entice more subscribers.”

Public telecommunication entities (PTE), which currently provide services to a subscriber, or a donor provider, must notify the opposite network, or recipient provider, within 24 hours of their client’s desire to shift to the recipient provider’s network.

If  a client have any existing financial obligation, they will be given three working days to settle unpaid dues. If a client does not pay these fees after the three-day period, the donor provider will notify the recipient provider of the nonpayment.

The bill also states that violators will be fined by the NTC an amount ranging from Php 100,000 to Php 300,000 for the first offense, and Php 400,000 to Php 600,000 for the second offense.

Subsequent offenses, meanwhile, carry fines that will range from Php 700,000 to Php 1 million,t he PTE’s franchise may also be revoked.-ezc/NewsLine.ph

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