Vargas Proposes Lifetime Cellphone Number
QUEZON City Rep. Alfred Vargas, one of the authors of the proposed Mobile Number Portability, is appealing to House leadership to prioritize the approval of the measure on the resumption of Congress.
Included in the substitute bill approved by the House committee on information and communications technology is Vargas’ House Bill 7148 or an Act Requiring Public Telecommunications Entities to Provide Nationwide Mobile Number Portability to Subscribers or the Lifetime Cellphone Number Act.
The bill seeks to provide mobile telephone subscribers the option to retain their numbers even if they switch to another service provider or even if they switch from postpaid to prepaid account and vice versa.
A counterpart measure in Senate was already approved in the third and final reading.
According to Vargas, the intention of this proposal is to improve the services provided by the telecommunication companies and to give subscribers better options.
“More often than not, mobile subscribers opt to tolerate and continue to pay for the poor services of their network providers as they do not want the inconvenience of changing their personal mobile numbers, their digital identity, for fear of losing important contacts and opportunities,” Vargas said.
Once enacted into law, the mobile users will be given “lifetime cellphone number.”
The basic premise of number portability, Vargas said, is to promote competition among telcos by giving consumers the freedom to choose and to respond to quality, price and other relevant considerations without changing their mobile numbers whenever they change service providers.
“Through this, we are giving back to the mobile subscribers the power of consumers; the freedom to choose the network provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers,” Vargas added.
Furthermore, the measure will open opportunities to other telcos which can provide better services, hence will promote healthy competition.
“This measure will attract more telecommunication players to enter the Philippine market, therefore encouraging competition,” Vargas, a vice chairman of appropriations committee, said.
Aside from this, Vargas said the lifetime cellphone number will prevent organized syndicates or individuals from using cellphones in illegal and criminal activities.
Under the measure, the public telecommunications entity (PTE) shall provide the mobile number portability to all subscribers, both postpaid and prepaid, free of charge.
The measure likewise states that the PTEs and other third party, to whom mobile numbers and personal information have been disclosed, shall maintain the confidentiality.
The bill mandates the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Privacy Commission, Philippine Competition Commission and other concerned agencies, to issue the implementing rules and regulations.
-April 02, 2018