MANILA -- Mobile phone subscribers may now keep their numbers even after they changed their network providers starting July 2, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

This was announced by the NTC after it released a memorandum circular (MC) which sets the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on Republic Act No. 11202 otherwise known as the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last February.

“The MC promotes easy and expedient mobile phone/device usage by allowing the convenient transfer of a mobile postpaid or prepaid subscriber from one service provider to another, or change the type of subscription from postpaid to prepaid or vice-versa, without changing the subscriber’s mobile number,” the commission said in its statement on Tuesday.

The NTC, however, clarified that while the order takes effect on July 2, telecommunications companies (telcos) are given six months after the date of effectivity to implement the IRR.

MC No. 03-06-2019 states that subscribers applying for mobile number portability must have the following qualifications:

- no outstanding financial obligation with the donor provider

- mobile number used in a device is not locked to any mobile service provider

- 60 calendar days must have lapsed from the date of activation of the ported number

- no pending request for transfer of assignment of the mobile number

- no order from a court of law stopping the mobile number porting

- not blacklisted by a service provider due to previous fraudulent activities

Postpaid and prepaid subscribers within the same mobile network may avail mobile number portability and shall be changed within 24 hours upon submission and acceptance of application and subject to existing policies of the mobile service provider.

No fees and charges shall be collected from the applicants for mobile number portability. Furthermore, no interconnection fee or charge shall be imposed by any mobile service providers for domestic calls and SMS made by a subscriber.

Meanwhile, major telco firms assured that they will comply with the rules on mobile number portability.

PLDT Inc. said it supports the Mobile Number Portability Act and will work with the government and industry partners for its implementation. “We have, however, expressed our reservations on constitutional grounds regarding the rider provisions in the law, which removes interconnection fees between operators,” PLDT-Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto told reporters.

Globe Telecom said it will comply with the NTC’s implementing rules and regulations on mobile number portability. “Our team is working closely with the government and other telcos to put in place systems for the new law’s smooth implementation,” Globe said in a separate statement. (PNA)