Department of Information and Communications (DICT) Acting Sec. Eliseo Rio, Jr. (Photo courtesy of DICT)

MANILA -- Subscribers may begin applying in January next year to keep their mobile phone numbers even after they have switched network providers.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the telcos were allowed to comply within six months of the effectivity of the National Telecommunication Commission’s (NTC) implementing rules and regulations of the Mobile Number Portability Act on July 2.

“I think ang telcos yun ang start kasi gagawin pa rin nila yung platform nila kailangan may software sila. They were asking for six months and of course reasonable naman kasi paano mo mailipat agad yung number sa isang provider kung di ready ang kanilang platform. (I think that would be the start for telcos because they have to build the platform and software. They were asking for six months and that is reasonable of course because how can you transfer a number to another provider if their platform is not ready),” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. told reporters on Wednesday.

“Ngayon na meron na doon na nila mapipilitan na magawa yung software na yun. (Now that the rules are set, they must now build software for that),” he added.

Rio expects telco firms to further improve their services once the mobile number portability is fully implemented.

The NTC has recently released Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 03-06-2019 which sets the rules and regulations for 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 NTC said in its statement.

Postpaid and prepaid subscribers within the same mobile network may avail of 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.

Major telco firms PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom assured that they will comply with the rules on mobile number portability. (PNA)