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Mobile Number Portability Act of the Philippines to empower subscribers

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) predicts a more vibrant competition between telecommunication service providers as subscribers are now empowered to keep their mobile phone number for life.

According to a recent press release, the newly-signed Republic Act 11202 (RA 11202) or the Mobile Number Portability Act allows the consumers to keep their mobile numbers even if they switch service providers.

Consumer-centric focus

They can also keep their numbers when they change their subscription from postpaid to prepaid and vice-versa. All of these will be free of charge.

Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr hails the passage of this game-changing policy as this shifts the telecommunication services paradigm to become more consumer-centric.

The law will cultivate a sense of urgency for telco companies to deliver only the best service since subscribers will not hesitate to choose what is best for their money’s worth.

On top of being able to keep their numbers, consumers will not be charged for any interconnection fees for domestic calls and texts.

Role of DICT

The Department will be helping in the crafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the said law.

They will be doing so in coordination with the implementing agency, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and other involved institutions during the 90-day period from its effectivity.

The Acting Secretary, moreover, noted that the Department will continue to work on policies that are lined up to stimulate competition and further improve telecommunication services.

They are looking forward to policies like the Open Access and Spectrum Management to also get the same attention from the legislators in order to ride on the current momentum.

Data Privacy

Meanwhile, Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro applauds President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing the Mobile Number Portability Act.

According to a recent press release, this law gives the data subjects control over their data which is a basic tenet under the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) supports the proper implementation of RA 11202, which promotes consumer welfare and fosters innovation and competition in the telecommunications industry.

They likewise recognise this measure as an embodiment of the right to data portability provided under Section 18 of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA).

This right gives data subjects the mechanism to obtain their personal data in an electronic or structured format from personal information controllers, if such personal data is being processed through electronic means, and enables the further use of such personal data by the data subjects.

Role of NPC

The Commission will continue to work with the NTC and all concerned agencies tasked to implement this law.

They will provide additional inputs in the crafting of the IRR and other policies, as may be necessary and appropriate.

In the implementation of the Mobile Number Portability Act, the NTC, together with the NPC, shall endeavour to ensure that the public telecommunications entities handling the personal data of subscribers shall strictly adhere to the provisions of the DPA.

They will also provide safeguards to protect said personal data in the course of porting activities, bearing in mind the data privacy rights of the subscribers.

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