A bill that pushes for mobile users to keep their personal cellphone number even if they switch networks or change subscription from prepaid to postpaid has passed the Bicameral committee meeting, Tuesday, November 13.
The joint panel of the Senate and House of Representatives approved the Senate Bill 636 or the proposed Lifetime Cellphone Number Act authored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
Gatchalian shared with GMA News that the bill is very timely with the emergence of a 3rd telco and will allow users to easily choose their preferred network provider.
Gatchalian explained, “Itong bill ay naaprubahan na. Ang importanteng features nito ay ang consumers natin na gustong lumipat sa third telco, hindi na nila kailangang magpalit pa ng cellphone numbers so puwede na nilang dala-dala ang kanilang numbers.” [This bill has been approved already. The important feature of the bill is to allow consumers to easily shift to the 3rd telco. They no longer need to change numbers.]
Aside from outlining the hassle of applying and changing mobile phone number, it will also drive telecommunication companies to be more competitive. Gatchalian said, “This law was conceived because we want to improve the competition and nakita namin na kahit pumasok ang third telco, kung walang ganitong batas, mahihirapan siyang kumuha ng mga customers because ‘yung mga customers ng Globe at Smart, embedded na.” [without this law, we saw that even if there’s a third telco, it will be a challenge for it to gain customers from Globe and Smart.]
The bill will also have a provision that will remove the “interconnection charges” by network providers for calls and text to numbers from a different network.